Marussia “very close” to Chilton deal

Marussia team principal John Booth says the team is “very close” to signing a deal with Brit Max Chilton for the 2014 season.World © Octane Photographic Ltd.

Should the deal be completed, it will be the first time in the team’s history – since they joined F1 in 2010 under the ‘Virgin Racing’ name – that they have retained a driver line-up for the following season.

Chilton had a difficult start to his rookie season but soon cut the gap to his team-mate Jules Bianchi. He finished every single race, making him the first rookie to do so. The 22-year-old is keen to stay with the team for a second season and Booth says discussions are progressing well.

“We are very close with Max, very close,” he told Sky Sports. “He wants to stay and we want him to stay so it’s a matter of sorting the details out really.

“We like the lad and he’s done a great job, particularly in the second half of the year. I think he’s very comfortable here and very happy here.”

With a shake-up in the regulations for 2014, Marussia have put all of their resources into producing their challenger for next season. “The problem with a team of our size is that building a 2014 car from scratch has taken all our resources,” he said.

“So from Barcelona onwards, we haven’t really brought any updates to the car. We’ve brought small updates but nothing major. We’ve put all our resource and efforts into our 2014 car – which is on schedule. In fact, it’s ahead of schedule. So we had to make that choice. Some teams have that choice but they have a parallel development plan going; we don’t have that luxury.

“We’ve made great strides this year and we’re very happy where we’ve been. Formula 1 is not easy; Red Bull took over a race-winning F1 team with a limitless budget and it still took them five years to win a race. That’s an indication of how difficult Formula 1 is. So operating with the smallest budget in the paddock, I think we can be very proud of what we’ve achieved.”

Image courtesy of Octane Photographic

Facebook Twitter Email