Marussia have announced that Max Chilton will partner Jules Bianchi for the 2014 season.
The announcement was made at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham by Team President and Sporting Director Graeme Lowden.
“We are delighted to announce Max directly to an audience of Formula 1 fans at the Autosport International Show today,” Lowden said. “Judging by the warm reaction we received at the show, they felt it was well worth the wait to hear the news first hand and we at the Marussia F1 Team felt it was a fitting reward for the incredible support we receive from them. Keeping the fans at the heart of our sport is critical for its continued success.”
Team Principal John Booth explained some of the reasons for retaining Chilton. “In view of next year’s regulation changes, continuity is key, so it is highly beneficial to our technical team that we retain the same driver line-up moving forward. Max had an impressive debut season last year and, of course, achieved a new rookie record for finishing all 19 races.”
“He can be justifiably proud of the progress he made through the course of 2013,” Booth continued. “With our driver line-up complete we can now focus all of our attentions on our 2014 car and moving the Marussia F1 Team to the next level. After our success in achieving 10th place in the constructors’ championship, we have set our sights on a bigger and better 2014 campaign.”
“I am really happy to be continuing with the Marussia F1 Team into a second season,” Chilton said. “Continuity is important for the team but also for me as a driver. You learn such a lot in your debut season, but the second year is when you can really pull all of those new experiences together and show your true potential. That has always been the case for me in the junior categories and I’ll be aiming for a similar step in my second year of F1.”
Lowden concluded with a word about the young driver pairing of Chilton and Bianchi, both of whom made their Formula One debut in 2013. “It was great to see Max and Jules developing during their debut season,” he said. “They rewarded our confidence in such a young but obviously talented line-up. I’m sure the fans are as excited as we are to see what our drivers can go on to achieve in their second season with us.”
“I would like to thank the Marussia F1 Team for their continued faith and support,” Chilton concluded. “They are a great bunch of people who are extremely hard-working and ambitious and I can’t wait to embark on our 2014 season challenge together.
Chilton’s confirmation means there are only two seats left on the grid – both at Caterham – with just over two weeks until winter testing gets going. A list was published by the FIA recently indicating the permanent numbers allocated to the drivers competing in the 2014 season.