Marussia have confirmed an unchanged driver line-up for 2014 after today announcing that Max Chilton will retain his seat alongside Jules Bianchi.
This makes Caterham the only team yet to confirm their drivers with Charles Pic, Giedo van der Garde and GP2’s Marcus Ericsson the leading contenders.
For Chilton, who set a record in his rookie season last year of completing every race had a question mark surrounding his 2014 plans given his financial backing and the opportunity to change teams. But after the confirmation of Sauber and Force India’s line-ups prior to the new year it was expected that he would remain at Marussia and build on last years progress.
“I’m so glad to make the announcement,” said Chilton. “I’m really thankful that Marussia believed in me and gave me a second year.
“Continuity for me is absolutely key. I did three years in GP2, the first year I learnt well and the second year we pushed on. We could go for poles and wins and the whole atmosphere changed.
2013 saw Chilton and Bianchi enter Formula One on a even level, each in their first season of Grand Prix racing with only Free Practice sessions and Young Driver Tests as experience. And Bianchi set the in-team pace throughout the year, beating Chilton 16-3 in qualifying and 14-5 in the races. Marussia will expect better in his second season as they have the chance to take advantage of the rule changes and close the gap to the teams ahead.
“There were two things that we were looking at,” Graeme Lowdon, Marussia Sporting Director told Autosport. “One is that we have never had continuity of both drivers from one season to another during our stint in F1. With the technical rule changes that are coming through, that is important.
“There was also real solid improvement from Max last year, particularly from the break onwards.”