Max Chilton's position in the Marussia line-up is not yet secure for 2014, after sporting director Graeme Lowdon admitted that the team is still considering alternatives to partner Jules Bianchi.
Although he was being linked to other seats, Bianchi has already been confirmed for a second season at Marussia, while Chilton has made no secret of his desire to remain with the Banbury-based outfit, despite allegedly having held talks with rivals regarding 2014.
“I think my chances are looking good,” the Briton claimed during the Indian Grand Prix weekend, “Nothing's set in stone yet, [but] I've learned in GP2 how much continuity can help. I'd love to stay with Marussia again because you always get more out of yourself when you know the team. It's a natural progression. We have been contacted by other teams but, at the moment, we know where we want to be and we're not far away from it now.”
This season was the first in which Marussia, which switches to Ferrari power next year, ran two
F1 novices. Having previously fielded veteran Timo Glock alongside various rookie team-mates, Lowdon admits it would be good to take drivers with experience into the new-look F1 next year, but insists that the team would not be averse to running another newcomer in tandem with Bianchi.
"One of the things about next year is that the technical challenge is going to be huge, for all the teams," he told Sky Sports Online
, "A lot of things are going to be new and I think there's a strong argument to say that having an experienced line-up would benefit the team.
"Typically, we've had an experienced driver and then a young driver alongside, and this year was a departure for us in that we've had two rookie drivers. They've done an extremely good job, so there's a strong argument to say that it'd be nice to carry the driver line-up through to next year, but, until we can finalise and announce the driver line-up, there are still possibilities that we need to explore."
Those 'possibilites' are understood to include McLaren protégé Kevin Magnussen, who starred in winning the World Series by Renault 3.5 Series this season, but Lowdon admits that the decision is not necessarily in the team's hands.
"Like a lot of things in F1, we're not in control of all of the variables, so we'll have to wait and see,” he concluded.