Booth: Chilton is an extremely capable driver
18 December 2012 – Marussia team boss John Booth has praised the talents of newly-signed driver Max Chilton, describing the Briton as 'extremely capable' behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car. After months of negotiations, the 21-year-old will make his F1 debut in 2013.
Having tested for Marussia in July's Young Driver outing at Silverstone, before delivering an encouraging practice performance at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, Chilton impressed the team enough to land a full-time seat for the 2013 season.
"We are delighted to welcome Max to the role of race driver with the Marussia F1 Team for the 2013 season," Booth explained. "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.
"We felt confident enough in his ability and potential to appoint him as reserve driver in September and since that time his development has been rapid in all aspects. First and foremost, he has shown himself to be extremely capable in the car.
Booth said the progression Chilton made from his initial outing at Silverstone in July to his free practice debut in Abu Dhabi was a significant factor in the decision.
"Most recently, in Abu Dhabi, he was put to the test in a competitive environment which included providing him with an opportunity to demonstrate his outright pace and consistency over a single lap," he added. "We saw just how much he has progressed even since the Silverstone test in the summer and through the succession of GP2 races thereafter, when he achieved two pole positions and two race wins."
Chilton will join Germany's Timo Glock at the Banbury-based outfit in 2013, with 2012 driver Charles Pic deciding to join rivals Caterham on a 'multi-year' deal.