Max Chilton will line up alongside Jules Bianchi again in 2014, after Marussia confirmed it will retain the Briton for a second Formula 1 season.
The 22-year-old made his grand prix debut with the team last year, taking a best finish of 14th in Monaco. He set an F1 rookie record by finishing all 19 races, and made it into Q2 for the first time at the Belgian Grand Prix.
“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 learned well and the second year we pushed on. We could go for poles and wins and the whole atmosphere changed. Hopefully that will happen with Marussia.”
MARUSSIA AIMING FOR STABILITY
Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon said the team had been keen to have stability on the driver front, particularly with such major changes being ushered in for the 2014 season.
“There were two things that we were looking at,” Lowdon said. “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 onward.
“We have known Max for a long time. Look at his performance in the lower formulas. He hasn’t jumped from formula to formula quickly, he has stayed in a formula and learned.
“You can see that from mid-season onward there were some really impressive improvements, so he pretty much ticked all of the boxes for us to go forward in 2014.”
Chilton’s appointment means just two seats remain open on the 2014 F1 grid, both at Caterham.
Current 2014 F1 driver lineup:
Red Bull-Renault Sebastian Vettel Daniel RicciardoMercedes Lewis Hamilton Nico RosbergFerrari Fernando Alonso Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault Romain Grosjean Pastor MaldonadoMcLaren-Mercedes Jenson Button Kevin MagnussenForce India-Mercedes Nico Hulkenberg Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari Adrian Sutil Esteban GutierrezToro Rosso-Renault Jean-Eric Vergne Daniil KvyatWilliams-Mercedes Felipe Massa Valtteri BottasMarussia-Ferrari Jules Bianchi Max ChiltonCaterham-Renault tba tba