The Marussia F1 team has finally confirmed one of the rather worse-kept secrets of the 2013 driver market, today announcing that Max Chilton will drive for the backmarker outfit in 2013.
The 21-year-old Briton has served as the team’s reserve driver in late 2012 while also racing full-time for the outfit’s GP2 Series team, run by Carlin Motorsport. In an impressive year, he achieved two pole positions and two race victories.
In addition to this, he drove for the Sheffield-based team at the ‘Young Drivers’ test at Silverstone, in addition to having his first Grand Prix outing in the first practice session at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“We are delighted to welcome Max to the role of Race Driver with the Marussia F1 Team for the 2013 season,” team principal John Booth said in today’s media release.
“We have spent a significant amount of time evaluating his performances during 2012, both in our own car in a testing situation and also from the pitwall as we monitored his progress alongside the other members of our junior talent pool during Grand Prix support races.”
While the baby-faced racer is certainly no slouch behind the wheel, his appointment comes with the additional help of some $15 million in sponsorship backing from his homeland.
Which sponsors’ stickers will adorn the team’s 2013 car remain to be seen, but one can certainly bet that some rather large AON logos will be present – after all, the insurance giant’s chairman just happens to Max’s father, who has also helped bankroll the motorsport career of his two sons, including older brother Tom, who races in the World Touring Car Championship in a team partly owned by AON.
The announcement means that Force India and Caterham remain the only two teams on the grid yet to formally announce their complete racing line-ups.