British youngster Max Chilton will have a second season of Grand Prix racing, with the Marussia F1 Team confirming that it has retained the well-backed driver’s services for the 2014 season.
The 22-year-old will remain alongside Jules Bianchi, whose place at the team was confirmed more than three months ago.
It marks the first time that the Banbury-based team – in either its current or former guise of Virgin Racing – kept the same line-up from one season to the next, although the team’s leadership had indicated that this was their primary aim heading into a season of brand new technical regulations.
“We are pleased to confirm that Max will continue with the team into the 2014 season,” Marussia F1 Team Principal John Booth said.
“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.”
Chilton, a former winner in the GP2 Series, joined the team in 2013 with the assistance of considerable commercial backing from the AON insurance group, which was formerly chaired by his father, Grahame.
Chilton performed steadily over the course of 2013, impressively finishing every Grand Prix although he was, for the most part, outperformed by Bianchi, outqualifying the Frenchman just once all season.
“I am really happy to be continuing with the Marussia F1 Team into a second season,” Chilton added.
“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 competition.”
Marussia’s announcement leaves Caterham as the only team left to finalise its driver line-up for the 2014 season.