Max Chilton


With a father who now owns the Carlin team and an elder brother who competes in the World Touring Car Championship, Chilton was always going to end up pursuing a career in motorsport. Having originally raced in karts from the age of 10, Chilton moved up to cars at the tender age of 14 as he took part in the now defunct T Cars championship, winning seven races en-route to finishing runner-up in 2006.

Chilton stepped up to British F3 at the age of 16, and in his thirseason finished fourth in the championship having taken five podiums and victory at the final round at Brands Hatch. GP2 followed in 2010 at just 19, and while the first year with Ocean Racing Technology brought just three points and the second with Carlin four, a second consecutive year at Carlin yielded two wins, four podiums and fourth in the championship.

Having tested for Force India in 2011, Chilton benefitted from Marussia’s link-up with Carlin in 2012 to take part in the Silverstone Young Driver Test. He sufficiently impressed the team and was named reserve driver for the rest of the year once the GP2 season ended in Singapore, making his first FP1 appearance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. With Charles Pic leaving for Caterham and Chilton coming with sponsorship from Aon – for whom his father is Grahame is chairman – he stepped up to the position of race driver in 2015.

Impressive early form from team-mate Jules Bianchi made for a difficult start for Chilton, but he was consistent and kept seeing the chequered flag. He was fortunate on one occasion at Monaco when he triggered a big crash for Pastor Maldonado and also accounted for his team-mate, but as the season progressed the delta to Bianchi came down and Chilton will get a chance to continue his improvement in 2015 as part of an unchanged line-up.

Strengths and Weaknesses
His fourth-placed finish in GP2 in 2012 proved Chilton has pace, but he has yet to win a championship in karting or cars. That is partly because he was rushed through the ranks with the help of his father’s funding, but he will have to prove his talent at Marussia in order to continue to make progress in F1.

Career High
His victory in the inaugural GP2 Singapore feature race in 2012 helped silence his critics and gave Marussia another reason to sign him for 2015.

Career Low
Crashing during his first day of testing in his new race car was not an ideal start to his F1 career, but it was due to a suspension problem not driver error.

“My Dad has always said ‘I’ll get you to as high as I can but F1 I can’t do’. I’m sure he could stretch [himself] and do it but he doesn’t want to. He’s managed to find two sponsors.” – Chilton explains how the funding for his F1 seat works.

“You can only step up to Formula One if you feel ready in yourself. Over the last two years I have really grown in confidence and I have shown I have got the speed.”

Max Chilton’s brother, Tom, races in the World Touring Car Championship for a team backed by his father’s business.

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