25 November 2013
Brazilian Grand Prix: Chilton goes the distance
Max Chilton extended his record for finishes by a rookie to a full-house 19 by completing the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Max Chilton completed his rookie season the same way as he started it, by taking the chequered flag for Marussia.
Having already broken the previous record for finishes by a rookie, set by Tiago Monteiro in the days of shorter F1 campaigns, Chilton extended his mark to 19 races, having seen the chequer in each of his outings. Although he finished only 19th in Brazil, the Briton – who is confident that he will return with Marussia next season – was pleased with his achievement.
“I am really proud of my record-breaking 19 finishes in 19 races, but this is the result of a fantastic team effort,” he said, “I would like to thank the whole team for a brilliant season, with particular credit to my car crew.”
Along with Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi, the Brazilian Grand Prix was something of an unknown for Chilton, who had never driven the Interlagos circuit in the dry before completing a series of installation laps before forming up on the grid.
“It was hard finding our way, having only driven in the wet all weekend,” he confirmed, “We had just the sighting laps to the grid to make a few changes in order to try to optimise the dry balance as best we could.”
As it turned out, the race was largely uneventful, despite the ever-present threat of rain, but Chilton had to make a late pit-stop to ensure that he made it to the end and completed his 100 per cent finishing record.
“The middle part of the race was quite nail-biting with the constant threat of rain, but I knew that all I had to do was keep going and be ready for any scenario,” the youngster noted, “In the last stint, I struggled with a vibration on front left tyre, which was really costing me time and that is why we pitted for an unscheduled third stop.”
Team boss John Booth paid tribute to both his rookie drivers after the race, as well as to the crews that keep the MR02 running so well during the year.
“Credit to the whole team – both trackside and back at base in Banbury – for an incredibly hard-fought 2013 campaign,” Booth acknowledged, “Well done too to both Jules and Max, who have performed admirably in a tough rookie season, having more than risen to the challenge, and congratulations to Max for his fantastic record of 19 finishes in 19 races, which is a testament to his skill and the team's fantastic reliability record.
“Today's result is about the whole package, so credit to our powertrain partners, Cosworth and Xtrac, with whom we have worked for four rewarding seasons, as well as our team partners and suppliers who have shared the journey with us.”
Marussia moves to Ferrari power for the new V6 turbo era which begins in 2014.
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