Mid-Season Review: Max Chilton

Marussia head into the summer break in a glorious P9 in the constructors standings. Their first ever points came courtesy of Jules Bianchi at the Monaco Grand Prix, and while the Frenchman has made all the headlines so far this season, his teammate Max Chilton has quietly been delivering impressive results. Consistency is key to a team looking to develop such as Marussia and keeping Max for a second season, (in what was a rather unprecedented decision by the team), has certainly been vilified. 

Season So Far…

Australian Grand Prix
13th
Malaysian Grand Prix
15th
Bahrain Grand Prix
13th
Chinese Grand Prix
19th
Spanish Grand Prix
19th
Monaco Grand Prix
14th
Canadian Grand Prix
Retired
Austrian Grand Prix
17th
British Grand Prix
16th
German Grand Prix
17th
Hungarian Grand Prix
16th

A Reliable Asset

The proverb of being “in it to win it” has been tagged with Marussia so far this season. While teams such as Mercedes, Red Bull and Lotus have suffered countless reliability issues at critical times, Marussia have been remarkably resistant to the dreaded failures. It really is testament to all the personnel at Banbury – they have given their drivers a reliable car despite being on a shoe-string budget and facing a lack of resources.
However, the drivers have also played their part. Both Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi have been immensely impressive once again this season and while the latter has made the more poignant headlines, Max’s efforts cannot be underestimated. Despite his critics, Max has enjoyed a second season featuring all the consistency of his first campaign and but for a small mistake with much greater consequences in Canada, he would surely have a 100% finishing record once again – he would have continued his incredible streak of finishing races, which would otherwise have dated back to Melbourne 2013.
Prior to Jules’ heroics in Monaco, Max was also leading Marussia’s constructors charge, with his P13 in Bahrain proving good enough to edge Caterham out of P10. In what was a classic race, Max finished 27 seconds clear of Kamui Kobayashi, who’s 13th place in Malaysia had been the benchmark in the battle for P10. This race highlighted that Max is not only consistent, but can also record stand-out performances and ultimately, these are the results which capture the attention of Formula One’s leading lights. Take Jules Bianchi’s P9 in Monaco as a case in point – we are still talking about it.

Points Required

In terms of his future prospects, Chilton does need to record more of these stand-out results. Beating Jules on a regular basis seems to be quite a task and considering that the Frenchman is tipped to be a Ferrari driver within the next two years, this is understandable. What is important for Max is that he continues to pressurise his teammate. Scoring points in the second half of the campaign could potentially have the desired effect and if Marussia can maintain their P9 in the constructors, this will also be a huge benefit to Max’s credentials. Equipt with the superbly reliable MR03, Max certainly has the tools to be in the right place at the right time, just like Jules in Monaco.

As For The Rating…

Max Chilton’s 2014 campaign so far warrants 7/10 
Chilton’s consistency on Sunday’s has once again been evident this season. While he has lacked the box-office result which Bianchi managed in Monaco, Chilton has been a key player in Marussia’s march to a provisional P9 in the standings. While statistics will point to Jules beating Max so far this season, for a second season in a row, to be performing in a manner comparable to Ferrari’s future star is impressive in itself. If Chilton can make another step towards his teammate in the latter stages of this season, the leading protagonists could develop a serious interest in the young Brit. 

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