Max Chilton may not have sent shockwaves through Formula One during his first nine races, but the Briton is confident that he has proven why he has made it into the sport.
Chilton was signed by Marussia at the beginning of the season to partner Jules Bianchi, making his debut at the Australian Grand Prix. Although he has failed to score any points so far, he has recorded a best finish of 14th in Monaco and Chilton is pleased with the impression he has made so far.
“I feel satisfied with what I’ve achieved so far this year,” Chilton said in his rookie diary for the official Formula One website. “I’ve managed to finish all the races and I’ve done the job that the team have asked me to do. I’ve given them feedback and that’s what we want when we’re building the car and learning.
“I need to work on a little bit of everything to get more out of myself and the car, but I think I’ve shown why I’m here.”
Marussia are currently battling with Caterham for P10 in the constructors’ championship and Chilton is confident that his team can stay ahead in order to secure the prize money and a commercial contract with the sport for next season.
“As for the rest of the season, it’s more of the same in terms of learning, but I think we’ve got to aim a bit higher now. We’ve just got to get the car stronger now – that’s our main target, as well as beating Caterham.
“When you finish ahead of the cars around you, it feels like winning the race.”
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.