Rumours in Formula 1 reach 3 stages before a confirmation. They intially start out as an idea derived from either a fan, a journalist or man who falls somewhere in between – Eddie Jordan. They continue to swirl, much like a storm, gaining ferocity with every day. The third stage is where we find ourselves now. We are sure Max Chilton will be driving at Marussia next year, taking to the hot seat after a year as their test and reserve driver. No other driver fits the criteria as much as the twenty one year old. However I feel it is important to note, before you continue, that Max Chilton has not been officially confirmed.
But who is this young man? I know some fans may not be aware of a driver who, for the most part, has appeared in the background, waiting for his moment of racing glory. If these rumours are true, which I believe they will be, we will be getting to know Max very well. So here is an introduction to the hotly tipped driver.
1 – His connections to Marussia extend Formula 1:
He may have spent 2011 in the company of the Marussia Formula 1 team, however his connections to the progressing team have gone further a field than that. Max Chilton spent 2012 at the Marussia Carlin GP2 Team. These links cemented his chances of this lucrative drive in November of 2011, more than a year ago. We all know the impact that sporting politics has on Motorsport; I argue that this may have a part to play in his success.
2 – He is emulating great careers:
Carlin have proven to be an imensely powerful platform for wannabe Grand Prix drivers. The team have developed an impressive list of young racers including Jaime Alguersuari, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel. Now that’s a prestigious group. Furthermore, his current age of 21, is not vastly different to the ages that Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button made their respective race débuts.
3 – His Brother is also a racing driver
Although arguably a less successful driver, Tom Chilton (Max’s older brother) is very well established in the lower tiers of racing. Tom spent 10 years racing British Touring Cars before joining the World Championship in 2012. Whilst yet to win a championship, seeing two drivers in both one and two seater racing from the same family is certainly encouraging for the sport’s future.
4 – He spent his 16th Birthday racing:
In 2007, he became the youngest ever driver to race in the British Formula 3 Championship when he competed at Donington on his 16th birthday. His promising talent appeared obvious as three seasons followed in F3 with increasingly competitive results.
5 – He has a much needed racing attribute, funding:
Max Chilton’s father Grahame is the multi-millionaire chairman of insurance firm Aon Benfield and vice chairman of the Aon Corporation. His father’s money has contributed significantly towards his brother’s career; Aon are the title sponsors for Tom’s World Championship team – Team Aon. This funding is going to be crucial to Marussia who lost 10th place and much needed funding in Brazil. It could also secure the Brits future in a sport that is known for being overwhelmingly elitist.
So there you have it folks. Whilst I can not confirm at this stage, Chilton’s drive it does seem likely. The five facts listed above are great credentials for a potential Grand Prix driver. It is with some certainty and hope that I introduce you to Max Chilton – the fourth British driver on the 2013 grid.
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