Max Chilton encouraged by pace in relation to Jules Bianchi
Max Chilton felt extremely encouraged by his pace in relation to team-mate Jules Bianchi during the Italian Grand Prix, despite an overall uncompetitive 53-lap race for the Banbury-based outfit. During the race Max Chilton experienced some of the toughest blue flags he has had to contend with all season, but was overall satisfied with his result.
Despite an impressive season in the GP2 Series last season for the Marussia-sponsored Carlin team, Max Chilton has struggled somewhat throughout his debut season in Formula 1 in comparison to fellow rookie Jules Bianchi. During the opening stages of the season, Max Chilton was largely out-performed by his French team-mate, who instantly raised eyebrows within the paddock by finishing an impressive 13th during the Malaysian Grand Prix. That result in question has kept Marussia ahead of Caterham in the Constructors’ Championship, with Max Chilton steadily improving and learning towards the rear of the pack.
Although Max Chilton struggled with balance issues throughout the Italian Grand Prix weekend and once again finished behind Jules Bianchi, the 22-year-old Briton felt highly encouraged after he managed to remain within close proximity of the Frenchman, especially during the first 25 laps. Throughout this period, Chilton consistently produced times within the 01:31s, allowing him to keep the pressure on his team-mate. Despite the competitive pace, he was unable to perfect an overtaking maneuver and eventually finished the race 20th and last.
“Another tough race today and one which underlined the balance problems we’ve been experiencing all weekend.” Explained Max Chilton, “The start was okay but we weren’t able to keep pace with the competition today. What I was encouraged by was my pace versus my team-mate – there was nothing between us for the first 25 laps but every time I got close enough to overtake I lost downforce, so I couldn’t do anything to improve. I kept with him throughout the rest of the race, despite experiencing the toughest blue flag phase of the season, when it was really hard to make sure I gave the space needed at the right time and not suffer a huge loss of time myself.”
Max Chilton will be unquestionably aiming to continue improving as the season draws to a conclusion, with the sport preparing to return to the Far East next time out around the streets of Singapore. The British rookie last out-raced his team-mate at the German Grand Prix, a race Jules Bianchi failed to finish after his Marussia car was struck with a violent oil fire. Above all the Banbury-based outfit will be keen on staying ahead of Caterham in the Constructors’ Championship, in the intense battle at the back of the pack.
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