Home favourite Max Chilton has said he will 'never forget' his first British Grand Prix, even if he did only finish 17th in his Marussia.
The Surrey-born youngster, who is making his debut at the pinnacle of the sport this season, was never going to make any headlines, given Marussia - and rivals Caterham - are still some way off the pace of the established teams. However, he still had a pretty exciting afternoon, scraping with his team-mate, Jules Bianchi, as well as the Caterham's of Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde.
“I was really psyched on the grid and got a great start. I got past Jules and Pic but they passed again and then I took back position and we had a really close tussle for the first few laps,” Chilton said.
“They then just had a little bit better pace for a few laps and I dropped behind van der Garde [too]. I passed him again right towards the end [though] and we would have been fine but then the safety car came out and he had just pitted, so that worked out really well for him.
“He had the final ten laps on new tyres and I was on old tyres, so we had a great fight, but I managed to keep him behind me at the end."
"All in all, an eventful weekend with so many experiences to take away with me. Today has been a day that I will never forget,” Chilton added.
Bianchi meanwhile finished one spot higher in 16th in the sister MR02, and despite another race in which the team demonstrated improved reliability, he was left frustrated after struggling to keep up with the Caterham of Pic.
“It was generally a difficult race, which began with quite a bad start. After that I just had to follow Charles, but it was a fight to stay with him as the Caterham was a bit stronger today,” Bianchi explained.
“We decided to pit early but then the first safety car period followed and so that didn't work out for us. For the rest of the race it was the same story until the last safety car, which could have been another opportunity to get past, but although the gap was narrow we were unable to get by.
“It has not been a straightforward weekend and we have just a couple of days to get to grips with that before we head to Germany, where we hope for better things.”
by Philip Barclay