Max Chilton says he is eager to prove he is worthy of a place on the F1 grid when the new season gets underway in Australia.

Chilton will make his debut this season with Marussia having been given the chance to move up into a race seat from his position as test and reserve, being partnered for his debut season by Jules Bianchi.

Much has been made in the past about the financial backing the young Briton has been able to count upon as he worked through the motorsport ranks but the 21-year-old said he wanted to show he was on the grid through talent and not simply because he was able to bring sponsorship to the Anglo-Russian outfit.

"There are plenty of pay drivers on the grid and, in my experience, the sport has never changed," he told Sporting Life. "I think it's always been that way, and it probably will always be that way. Some of the legends in our sport had to bring backing to get into it in the first place.

"But the one thing I can say is teams will always look at talent first. They want to see you can put it on pole position and then win races in junior categories. If you've managed both of those, it's then about how you use your opportunity in F1, how you learn from the best and become the best driver possible.

"No team's going to let you behind the wheel if you're not up to it."

Chilton becomes the fourth British driver on the grid this season alongside Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta, and he said he was looking forward to joining them on track as he seeks to help Marussia move towards its goal of scoring points.

"For years I've always looked up to them, so it's going to be weird to be on track with them," he said of his fellow Brits. "But I wouldn't have made the step up if I wasn't ready, and I hope we can have a few battles along the way. I believe after my two wins and two poles in GP2 last year I am ready. I know I can do it.

"After three long, hard seasons in F1 the team are yet to score a point. If I can score their first points then that will be an incredible feeling."


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