Marussia driver Max Chilton has expressed his delight with his first Formula One qualifying performance to Sky Sports.
Despite qualifying eventually being postponed until the following morning, the weather allowed Q1 to go ahead as normal after a thirty minute delay. In his first outing, Chilton qualified in 20th place ahead of both Caterham drivers, and the Briton suggested he may have gone even quicker had it not been for red flags late on.
“For my first qualifying it was pretty challenging, but I’m really happy with it. It was a real shame about the yellow flags as I had to back out and lost a lot of time.
“But we finished ahead of Caterham and that’s what we wanted. The car was a real joy to drive and we’re happy with our job.”
Chilton was also relishing the opportunity of competing in his first race on Sunday, but he set himself the modest target of simply finishing.
“It looks like it will be dry on Sunday and I know we’ve got a quick car in the dry, so either way we’re comfortable. Hopefully we can bring both cars home.”
Teammate Jules Bianchi qualified just in front of Chilton in 19th place, albeit by eight-tenths of a second.
The Australian Grand Prix is renowned for its high rate of attrition, and this could work in Chilton’s favor relying he can get his car to the finish, potentially taking advantage of retirements throughout the race.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.