Chilton expects to extend stay at Marussia

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Max Chilton has his sights set on remaining at Marussia for a second season in 2014.

His team mate Jules Bianchi has already been confirmed at the squad for next year.

Chilton told the official Formula One website: “Next year it’s most likely that I will stay with Marussia – but of course I have to get the deal done first.”

“The team has good potential, but it’s crucial that we stay ahead of Caterham in the constructors’ championship as the price money we’d get can make up a big percentage of our yearly budget.

“If we have that we can put it towards a better car for next year. That would really help! It would mean that we have the chance to start 2014 really strong.”

Marussia will switch to Ferrari power next year, ending a four-year association with Cosworth. The new V6 turbo power units with sophisticated energy recovery systems will be considerably heavier than this year’s engines, putting pressure on drivers to keep their weights down.

“Of course, there’s a lot of focus on drivers’ weights for 2014,” Chilton acknowledged.

“I’ve got quite a sweet tooth so yes I have to remind myself during the day not to grab too much candy, but in some ways I am privileged as although I’m quite tall, I’m also quite light. Having said that, for next year I probably will try to lose one or two kilos.”

IndyCar 2017 driver review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

  • 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish

Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.

While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.

Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.

Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.

In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.