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Max Chilton

Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Austin, Texas, 15 November 2012 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team MR01.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day One, Silverstone, England, 12 July 2012 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team MR01.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day Two, Silverstone, England, 13 July 2012

It’s fair to say that Max Chilton’s route to Formula One racing was not conventional. Whilst the British racer began his motorsport life in karts like many of his contemporaries, he then moved on to race in T Cars, a saloon car-based series for 14- to 17-year-olds.

But rather than follow his older brother, Tom, into touring car racing, Chilton made the bold decision to graduate straight to the ultra-competitive world of British Formula Three in 2007, despite being only 16-years-old and devoid of any single-seater experience. It would prove to be a very steep learning curve for the youngster, but he stuck at it and by 2009 he had enough experience to win a race and finish fourth in the points.

But rather than staying in the category for another year and having a run at the title, Chilton again threw himself in at the deep end, graduating to GP2 after a ‘trial run’ in the winter GP2 Asia Series.

The 2010 season saw him competing against future Formula One drivers Pastor Maldonado (who won the title), Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean, Jerome D’Ambrosio and Charles Pic, and although he was able to score points on two occasions, Chilton suffered through his inexperience.

2011 was another tough learning year in GP2, this time with crack British outfit Carlin, but he did manage to use his connections to secure a straight-line test with the Force India Formula One team, following it up with another outing for the squad at the end-of-season young driver test in Abu Dhabi.

Though still only 20 when the 2012 GP2 Series started, Chilton began the season as one of the more experienced drivers on the grid. Just as he had in F3, the Reigate-born driver used his knowledge to the full, emerging as a regular frontrunner and double race winner.

After impressing during another Formula One young driver test, this time with Marussia, he was invited to become the team's reserve driver for the final six races of the season, taking part in free practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and after much speculation, Chilton was finally appointed to a 2013 race drive with the team in December 2012.

Although he struggled to live with the impressive pace of fellow rookie team mate Jules Bianchi in 2013’s early races, he nonetheless went about business in professional way, and made steady improvement despite a host of mechanical failures. He set a rookie season record by completing all 19 races and was retained by Marussia for 2014.