Marussia hand Chilton Abu Dhabi practice chance 25 Oct 2012
Marussia are to give their recently-signed reserve driver Max Chilton the chance to demonstrate his potential in a race weekend environment by taking part in opening practice at next weekends 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Chilton will drive alongside Timo Glock, taking over car number 25 for the full morning session, with Charles Pic resuming normal driving duties from the afternoon and for the balance of the meeting. The 21-year Briton has previously raced at Yas Marina in GP2.
I feel very proud to be entrusted with this opportunity by the Marussia F1 Team, said Chilton, who was promoted to reserve three race weekends ago in Japan. As part of the young driver programme this year I got to know the team very well, but over the last two race weekends, as reserve driver, I feel like I have a proper role and have learned so much about the Formula One environment in a very short space of time. This is the next step in the process of proving my potential and another important notch for me personally in terms of my ultimate goals.
As for next Friday, the 90 minutes of FP1 will fly by so quickly that its a real bonus to be testing the car at a circuit I know well. It means I can get up to speed straight away and focus on delivering some proper set-up and aero evaluation data for the team to help during the rest of the weekend. My thanks to everyone at the Marussia F1 Team for the faith they have shown in me so far and I will now concentrate my efforts on keeping my excitement in check and ensuring I make the most of this fantastic opportunity!
Chilton took part in Marussias young driver test at Silverstone back in July, when he drove the MR01 for two consecutive half days, and since Japan has been integral to the teams track walks, engineering meetings and driver debriefs to ensure he is sufficiently well prepared in the event that he is required to substitute for one of their race drivers.
We are delighted to provide this opportunity to Max in Abu Dhabi as it serves two important functions for us, said Marussia team principal John Booth. First of all, in the position of reserve driver, Max needs to be as prepared as possible should he be required to substitute for either race driver in the remaining races of the 2012 season. Secondly, as part of our on-going assessment of the next generation of racing talent, we are interested to see how Max has progressed since we first put him in the car at our young driver test at Silverstone in the summer.
Since that time, Max has impressed a great deal in the GP2 Series, achieving two race wins in the latter part of the season, so at the same time as ensuring his preparedness for the reserve driver role, we are looking forward to comparing his driving development with his growing maturity outside of the car. Of the four remaining Grand Prix venues we will visit this season, Abu Dhabi will impact least on Charles race weekend preparation and it will be business as usual for him with effect from Friday afternoon.
Despite being in his rookie season, Pic also has prior experience of Yas Marina, having earned his 2012 race seat with Marussia at their young driver test there in late 2011.
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