Former Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton will team up with Carlin for a development programme this season with the aim of joining the IndyCar grid in 2016.

Chilton will work with Carlin in their maiden Indy Lights campaign and carry out IndyCar testing for a potential return to racing in 2016.

The 22-year-old has a strong relationship with the British team after racing for them in GP2 and British Formula 3, before graduating to Formula 1 for the past two seasons with Marussia.

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"I'm very excited to be assisting Carlin in the USA," Chilton said.

"While I'm still considering my options for 2015, the IndyCar package presents an interesting challenge and by assisting with the development of the Indy Lights team I'm keeping my options open for an IndyCar programme in 2016 based on a strong foundation of knowledge and experience.

"Hopefully I can also help the guys at Carlin get as much as possible out of their first season in the USA."

Team owner Trevor Carlin sees getting Chilton on-board as mutually beneficial for both parties, as the driver's experience will be invaluable to the team as it begins its first season in America.

"We are very excited to embark on a long term programme in America and to have Max involved in that from the very start will make us a strong package," Carlin said.

"This season is very much about finding our feet as a team in the USA and Max's experience will be invaluable to that."

Likewise, if Chilton were to opt to race in IndyCar for 2016 he would already be familiar with the team and set up.

"For Max we see 2015 very much as a chance to prepare him for a successful potential debut in IndyCar in 2016 and it made sense to help each other in those preparations."

Carlin have already announced British driver Ed Jones will race for them in this season's Indy Lights series and the pair are expected to take part in three days of testing next week at the Homestead circuit in Florida.