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Chilton Retained At Marussia For 2014
Posted By:   |  11 Jan 2014   |  3:26 pm GMT  |  84 comments

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.”

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"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."

Chilton had a chance to join another team? And that team wasn't Caterham? World gone mad.


Wouldn't be surprised if Lotus offered him a 3rd driver role or something.


I agree. Sad news to see chilton confirmed. By far the least impressive driver of the last few years. But hey money talks...


Sad? Seriously? What hyperbole! Firstly, if Chilton was the best choice for Marussia, then why doesn't John Booth get your respect for taking the best driver from the team's perspective of those available to them? Secondly, maybe Chilton makes it possible for the team to retain Bianchi, if Max really brings that much backing?

But really, Marussia took the driver they thought made best sense for them, so it's rich to read all the criticism and lack of respect.


Same here, as if these people can do any better.


+1 getting tired of reading all the Chilton criticisms. Maybe someone needs to start an F1 team and take his favourite driver and leave Max alone.


Agreed. I'd love to know what team was interested because Chilton may have set a record but it's no more significant than my record of eating 3 lasagna's in a day. I mean really, his lack of pace was comical at times.

Goes to show what money and a powerful daddy can do for ya. Still, at least we are guaranteed more comical and rubbish driving from the most reliable driver in F1...... in that he comes last every race!


How big are these lasagnes because without a size measurement this record of yours is as worthless as someone finishing ever race in their first season in F1 : )


My point exactly good sir 🙂


Three lasagna's? Challenge accepted.


It also fails to compliment Bianchi as besting Chilton is not much of an achievement. As far as pay drivers go, his buy in must be the most expensive of the lot. Another season after this one and his dad might as well buy the team.


I get a bit sick of hearing about Chilton finishing every race. The truth is, he has no excuse not to, when he's running around the back all the time. No chance to crash with your teammate when you can't catch him.

Harsh - yes..... True - yes


Saves his team a front wing every other race.


What about when his teammate laps him?


1st or 2nd time?


Kobayashi at caterham would be great!!! How likely is this looking James? A true revert and very exciting!


Just put it this way if Kobayashi joins Caterham the likely chance are him and Bianchi will be fighting for their team to be not last, as for Chilton... worst driver in F1 since Riccardo Rosset in the 90's and 'super sub' Luca Badoer. It amazes me Marrusia has gone down this road, surely there are drivers out the that brings some money like Kobayashi or Di Resta and completely blow away Chilton with ease.


Another thing to consider is that some drivers might not want to move to a slow Marussia, their careers may be better away from F1 if that was their only option left.


+1 think of heiki and timo


Just to point out that Badoer was F3000 champion in his first season beating people like Barrichello, Panis and Coulthard.

He drove well at Minardi but never had the chance to score points. Not sure why he was so slow at Ferrari but I'm sure had he got a decent car earlier in his career like the others did then he could certainly have won races.


"Just put it this way if Kobayashi joins Caterham the likely chance are him and Bianchi will be fighting for their team to be not last, as for Chilton… "

This is gonna end up same way as Kovalainen in the Lotus.

He was a reckless driver either pull a banzai move or crash out so dont understand what the hype is all about!


I disagree, there is no comparison. Chilton won GP2 races and on occasions wasn't far off Bianchi

I was onMarussia pit wall Sat morning in Montreal and listened in as the drivers lapped on a slippery track - Chilton got temp into the tyres, Bianchi didn't

You could argue that there are others more deserving of a seat on merit alone, but he's got a sufficient mix of talent and cash to earn a space today.

He's not as fast as Bianchi but I would expect him to show improvement in 2014 if the car is reliable

If he doesn't step up in year 2 then I will come around more to your view


I think people's gripe with chiton is that iin three years of GP2 he finished 20th, 24th and 4th in the title standings. Also he never won a junior series championship. That's pretty poor even for a so called pay driver but best of luck to him and at least he's not driving around causing accidents.


Well said James. It is sad to see so much bile directed Chilton's way. He deserves a chance to prove himself and is clearly no slouch. If money has eased that path, then good luck to him. He knows as well as anyone that talent will ultimately determine how long he remains in F1.


But surely the skill of a team manager is to determine the potential of a driver without having to give him 2 seasons in a car. Chilton won Sprint races in GP2 where the grid is reversed and shorter distances gives lesser opportunity for the quicker drivers to make up ground.

More pertinent is his lack of pace. Once the gap between team mates gets over half a second the team will default the setup to the faster driver since they want to know how to find lap time not go slower.



As you are part of the 'English speaking media' that so irks Tealeaf, I would expect he will simply dismiss your actual knowledge (as opposed to uninformed opinion) of the situation as bias.

Let's see 🙂


My nationality has no relation to what I think of drivers - it's based on observation


Any truth to kobayashi--> Caterham rumors, James?


He states the team 'believe' in him.

I think 'Believe in his Wallet' is more apt.


Chilton was the worst driver on the grid last year. He will have to step it up massively this year or he will be out on his ear next winter time.


Not necessarily. His buy in will just increase significantly. 😉


Well he's a very nice chap. Someone has to come last and he seems very magnanimous when he inevitably does...


Classic comment! Rotfl! 🙂


I love the way that every article (or, at least *British* article) about Chilton mentions his irrelevant finishing record, as though that can somehow mask the fact that he's probably the slowest driver in F1 since Yuji Ide.


Ha I forgot about Ide, but I'd bet even Ide is faster tha Chilton.


Don't remember him Yuji, but Alex Yoong was pretty slow.


I just dont get this. So he managed to finish every race. He was awful compared to team mate, and I cant see how he can merit this drive. He must have very deep pockets


Headline should read:

"Chilton And His Money Retained At Marussia For 2014"

Hands up: I know there's a lot of British fans out there that would like to see him do well, but is there anyone who honestly believes that Chilton would have been retained without sponsorship?


I'm british and no he wouldn't have been retained without his sponsorship, but whoever would've taken his would've had to bring big cash too.


No worries Rich 🙂

I read that comment you mentioned and it seems to me like it was aimed more at Tealeaf and that Tim maybe actually shares your views.


For your first reply Rich, that's a fair point.

For your second (and Voodoopunk's) I don't mean to suggest you're all prejudiced, but to suggest that nationality is completely irrelevant is naïve.

I'm Australian, so I wanted to see Webber do well just as I want to see Ricciardo do well. I don't think there's anything wrong with that and it certainly doesn't mean I'm prejudiced every other driver (with the possible exception of Vettel, but I try to keep a lid on it).

As I said, there are a lot of British fans and I am sure that many that would like to see Chilton do well, but that wasn't meant to be an attack on the British fans, just an acknowledgement that I'd naturally expect them to cheer on their countryman just as anyone else would do.


Apologies but it wasn't a particular dig at you Random and I don't mean nationality is irrelevant. I’ve just read comments like Tim’s reply to James Allen under post 3 too many times.


There's a few of us English fans out there too, although I fail to see what nationality has to do with anything.

Someone has to be in the slowest car, and the team with the slowest car can't pick and choose too much who to hire.


agree. it's annoying when people keep on about enlish fans as if we're all prejudice, very ill informed and short minded I guess.


Quick question: Who is the guy on the right?

Seems strange to me that it wouldn't be John Booth.


Graeme Lowdon - he is the Grand Poobah at Marussia.


Aha - I was always under the impression Booth was Grand Poobah, but that explains that.


I think Booth is only the Big Cheese.


Just checked the 2014 driver and number list - seems Pastor chose lucky #13.


I'm guessing that the number 13 doesn't have the same weird associations in Venezuela.


Nothing funny about 13 itself, but it's called irony.


Or he has a sense of humour 🙂


I like it because it was skipped under the previous system because of it's perceived bad luck,


I don't get it, what's funny about the number 13?


Bianchi made Chilton look like a very-very-very average driver.


In what way Bianchi best finish 13th Chilton best finish 14th.


and I quote from the article: "And Bianchi set the in-team pace throughout the year, beating Chilton 16-3 in qualifying and 14-5 in the races"

Chilton wasn't beaten, he was destroyed.


I hope the AON money is worth it.


This is hilarious..... it seems the fans are cutting straight through this "finished every race" rubbish.

It's about time the British press stop attempting to pander to the Brit pack fans and call a spade a spade. Chilton is rubbish, useless, slow, insignificant, but sadly his money talks.


Is this what they mean by the funny season ? 🙂

Best of luck Max, you've got a second chance to get lucky, make the most of it, you'll hardly get another chance.


Plenty of ignorance up there. Comparing previous experience in F1, I think Max did a sound job. Not startlingly quick, also very close to Jules at times. His team and his sponsors will be glad he kept the car circulating.

His goal now is very clear, match his highly rated team mate.

I, for one, look forward to Max taking the next step.


For you local karting club championship, maybe. In formula 1, he is not good enough.


His cash helps keep the team alive, so also keeps Bianchi in a team, lets not be so quick to poor scorn, good luck Max.


And the British keep on going on about the record as if it was a great thing, yes he finished every single race but is it that much of an achievement when he was soundly beaten by his team mate and was really slow? Personally I don't think so.

I think that there are more deserving drivers out there...

Hopefully I will be proven wrong and Chilton will have a decent season


If finishing every race in your rookie year, how come nobody has done it in the last 60 years?


Part of that will have been bad reliability, part of it will have been bad luck, part of it will have been the ambition to see what the car can really do.


Ah, so pretty much the same factors that every world champion needed then 😉


Textbook example of Pay Driver, Its easy to get a clean race record when your racing nobody. Maybe Marussia will get a point this year, you never know 🙂


I understand the point you are making. However, the fact remains he is the first person who has managed this in 60 odd years. If it was easy, then surely someone else would have done it before - don't you think ?


Lucky guy, let's hope Marussia give him the car to display his true talent and pace.

Scuderia McLaren

James any news in that Algusuari fellow, or Petrov?

As for Chilton, instinctively I feel its a waste of a seat but I think the boy having one more chance isnt that bad considering its a rear of the grid.

Though it would be nice to see a Frijns - Bianchi battle. Two top line jr's would be a tasty season long battle.


To give some fairness to Cilton, he's an extremely young guy and deserves to spend a bit of time straddling the learning curve. He acquitted himself well finishing all the races and where that really counts is in getting a lot of seat time without burning up all the mechanics time fixing wrecks - the whole team gets to focus on developing the car. He did improve towards the end of the season. It's a lot better than crashing out all over the place. If these 2014 cars achieve some equality through the sheer madness of the new regulations, he should get a chance to mix it up with the big boys and then we'll see how well he's up to it.


Money talks, talent walks.


Not a lot of love for Max here...

His performances generally improved through the year. His qualifying gap to Bianchi was generally less than Patrese's to Mansell's or Brundle's to Schumacher's in 1992. In a less fair comparison, Johnny Dumfries once got to only 1.9 seconds slower than Senna on the grid in 1986. Quite often the gaps was 3-4 seconds per lap. Dumfries never had access to the spare car, but judging by some results such as Hungary, I'm not sure he was at an equipment disadvantage, just talent and experience.

Some drivers take a while to mature while in F1. Mansell didn't look much like an F1 star until a few moments in 1984 and then from late 1985.

The new style of cars may result in Chilton going through another adaptation period, so it will be interesting to me to see how he looks in the early races. The cars will presumably be slower through the corners, which will reduce the effects of a lack of skills.


[attempting to think of something positive to say...]

Well, at least he's consistent

[end of attempt]

Consistently slow, yes, but that's a form of consistency, innit?

And agree with other comments that the British press need to stop with the "first to finish all races in rookie season" thing - it's lame! He could have been out there in a Fiat Panda and done the same. Marginally slower race time of course.


Sorry Max. I'm sure you're a lovely chap and are trying very hard. You're a lucky lad to get a second chance, so hopefully you can find an extra kick of speed this year and prove all of us sarcastic buggers wrong. Good luck.


What a waste of a Ferrari power unit.


Does anyone else think the picture at top is supremely lack lustre some how reflecting the enthusiasm for Max?


Graeme does look a bit resigned, but Max seems happy enough 🙂


Very unfair to blame Max and the other pay drivers. They all have ability that is better than most in their field, else it would not matter how much money they have.

Blame the money hungry Bernie and the owners, as it is only getting worse as their greed grows.


James, could you shed any light on this?

Chiton is well known for his backing, and AON had a big presence on the GP2 cars he drove, but nothing on the Marussia's?

I've only actually noticed AON on the Mclaren boys race suits.


Max chi-ching!


When drivers like Kobu and Paul DR miss out on drives to Max C, then you know there's something wrong with F1 and the way it structured, such that teams have to pass on the best talent available and go with the pay driver to sustain their businesses.

A symptom of the fact that too much of the sports revenue is leaving F1 and going into the pockets of private equity firms like CVC instead of investing back into the 'actors'. It's like watching a Hollywood blockbuster movie with b-grade actors. Thanks but I'll wait for the video.


nice comment, Nick.


Daddy must be thick skinned as well as wealthy. He obviously like Max is not easily embarrassed. Daddy to friends We are so proud of Max his name is always mentioned at the start and end of each race, there is the qualifiers in order and Max Chilton bringing up the rear and at the end of the race there is the winner with Chilton finishing the next day

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