After several weeks of waiting, Marussia have finally announced that Max Chilton has retained his seat alongside Jules Bianchi for the up-coming campaign, as the team look for driver continuity heading into such a revolutionary year. Chilton became the only driver in history to finish every race of his rookie season in 2013 and will hope to repeat this consistency in 2014.
Unprecedented Territory for Marussia
For Marussia, retaining both drivers past a season is unprecedented, as the team have struggled to find a winning combination, with their longest serving driver Timo Glock having three different teammates before being forced out of the team at the end of 2012 due to financial difficulties.
After Graeme Lowdon’s comments in December, suggesting that the team would opt for driver continuity in what is already a revolutionary year in the sport, this morning’s announcement comes as no surprise. “We are delighted to announce Max directly to an audience of Formula 1 fans at the Autosport International Show today,” he said. I can only image how wide Max’s smile must be as he receives acclaim and applause on securing his seat from the many pilgrims at the Autosport International Show. Making the announcement in front of fans at a prestigious event is a nice touch from the team; a great stage upon which to announce a driver line-up.
Consistency Could By Key
Retaining both Bianchi and Chilton makes sense. Both drivers have financial assets, (which is always a point for consideration in the modern climate) and both are acclimatised to life in Formula One. The teams have enough to contend with heading into a revolutionary year, let alone the prospect of seeing a young driver through the difficult first months of their career. Chilton may not have shown the raw speed of Bianchi in 2013, yet his consistency could prove to be a prized characteristic for a team who are still looking to claim their first ever points. If reliability is as sketchy in the early parts of the season as is predicted, then this may present Marussia with their best chance of points to date.