Site logo

Max Chilton




Seasons in Formula 1:
Races contested:
Total number of championships:
Total number of wins:
Total number of pole positions:
Total number of fastest laps:
Total number of points:
2014 - number of wins:
2014 - number of poles:
2014 - number of fastest laps:
2014 - points:
2014 - championship position:



Max Chilton


Reigate, Surrey, UK
Reigate, Surrey, UK

Official website:


Max' racing career, as is so often the case, began in Karts, the youngster (aged 10) spending two years in Cadet before stepping up to TKM. Progressing to JICA, where he was a regular on the podium, Max also took part in the Super 1 National Kart Championships.

At age 14, Max made the surprise switch to cars, dovetailing his 2005 karting season with the T Cars championship, a saloon car-based series based in the UK open exclusively to drivers between the ages of 14 and 17.

Finishing eighth in his maiden season (2005), he improved to runner-up in 2006, finishing three points behind (future F2 champ) Luciano Bacheta.

Max progressed to single seaters in 2007, the youngster making his debut in the second round of the British Formula Three championship with Mike Earle's Arena International. He was unable to take part in the first round of the series because he was below the required age of 16.

His best results were a brace of elevenths, in Bucharest and at Brands Hatch, while he also made a one-off appearance in the Star Mazda Championship, at Laguna Seca - though he was ineligible for points because he was a guest driver. The youngster also contested 1000km of Silverstone, with brother Tom for Arena, finishing sixth overall.

In 2008, Max switched to Hitech Racing and improved to tenth place in the F3 championship, taking pole at Monza and Rockingham, and scoring podium finishes at Oulton Park and Rockingham. He also contested the Macau Grand Prix and the Masters of Formula 3.

For 2009 he moved to Carlin scoring three pole positions in the first four races. As well as two wins in the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Max added a second win in his final F3 race, at Brands Hatch.

Over the winter of 2009/2010, Max moved to the GP2 Asia Series, securing a seat with Barwa Addax, however, for the main series he joined Ocean Racing Technology, his best result being a fifth.

2011 saw Max rejoin Carlin as the British outfit finally made the move into GP2. He finished 22nd in the GP2 Asia series and 20th in the main series.

Remaining with Carlin for 2012, now with backing from the Marussia Formula One team, Max secured his first series podium finish in the feature race of the first round of the championship in Malaysia, and later his first pole position and race victory in the Hungarian feature race. Courtesy of some consistent points-scoring finishes throughout the season, Max finished the season in fourth, just 7 points behind third-place Esteban Gutierrez.

In November 2011, Max drove for Force India team in the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi. This was his second time in an F1 car having carried out a straight-line aerodynamic test for the team earlier in the year.

Having taken part in the Silverstone Young Driver Test, Max was appointed Marussia's testing and reserve driver for the second half of the 2012 season, starting from the Japanese Grand Prix. He subsequently took part in FP1 at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

On December 18 it was announced that he would race for Marussia in 2013, team boss John Booth describing him as "extremely capable".

Marussia spent 2013, much like previous seasons, locked in its own little world championship with Caterham, occasionally snapping at the heels of those losing ground to the midfield but more often than not squabbling over the scraps that nobody else wanted.

On a positive note, though totally lacking in pace the car showed superb reliability, and Max was one of only three drivers to finish every race, the only driver to do so in his rookie season in the entire history of the sport.

Teammate Jules Bianchi usually had the edge in qualifying, but in all honesty the equipment at their disposal meant that neither driver was ever really able to show what he was truly capable of.

Max scored his best finish in Monaco (14th), though admittedly he was aided by a proportionately high number of retirements, while his best qualifying performance of the year was at Spa (16th) having been one of three drivers to go out on slick tyres at the end of Q1 when the track's condition was improving.

Despite being given an unfairly hard time in the Pitpass podcasts - mainly due to his youth and 'rabbit in the headlights' expression, under the circumstances Max gave a good account of himself... getting his car to the end of every single race being no mean feat in itself.

With the team opting to retain both drivers for 2014, as widely predicted, it is to use Ferrari engines, a move forced on the team after Cosworth elected not to build a power unit for the new formula.

Missing the first two days of the Jerez test, Marussia was finally on track (sort of) for the final two days. We say 'sort of' because Max only completed 5 laps on his day of running and Bianchi just 25 the next day.

Whilst the first test in Bahrain was equally disappointing, things picked up at the second test, the duo out-pacing the Caterham and Lotus duos, not to mention Sebastian Vettel.

From the outset, battle with Caterham was resumed, with Sauber and Lotus now slipping into the rear-of-the field struggle. Q2 continued to be an elusive dream whilst race pace was also disappointing.

In Monaco however, it all came good. Bianchi, courtesy of a strong drive, and the over enthusiasm of others, brought the red, white and black car home in ninth to score his, and his team's, first ever championship points. It was a fantastic, much deserved, morale booster for the team, now in its fifth season, and a result that nobody in the paddock begrudged.

As is the nature of things, at the next race (Canada) both drivers were eliminated on the first lap, bringing to an end Max's perfect record of finishing every race he had started. Such is the nature of F1.

From the outside, the Monaco success gave the team some much needed respite for if it were to maintain tenth in the standings - ninth should Sauber fail to score any points - it would add as much as 40m to the team's coffers as well as making it more attractive to potential sponsors.

As if to reinforce the team's improving form, at Silverstone Bianchi and Max both made it through to Q2, though the pair were to finish the race a distant 14th and 16th (Max).

The financial situation at Marussia was still grave however, in late July Alex Rossi was confirmed as test and reserve driver, having ended his association with Caterham. On the Thursday of the Belgian Grand Prix it was announced that the American would replace Max due to "contractual issues". However, next morning, during FP1 the move was reversed and while nobody was willing to say too much it is understood that there was a difference of opinion over money with the Briton's backers and the team had to make a point.

At Suzuka however, the dream finally ended. On another dark day for the sport, Bianchi crashed into a recovery vehicle that was attempting to remove Adrian Sutil's car from the side of the track. Subsequent video footage showed the full horror of the accident, and a sport, already praying for Michael Schumacher, now found itself grieving for another one of its sons.

As the world awaited news of his condition, Marussia headed to Russia where, out of respect to the Frenchman, only one car was entered (Max), whilst Bianchi's chassis was left silent in the other garage.

There was to be no fairy-tale result for the team, Max retired after just 9 laps with a broken suspension. Meanwhile, as sources close to Bianchi's family revealed that the youngster's recovery would be long and slow, it was the fortune of the team that went into sharp decline.

In a series of events that occurred almost faster than they could be reported, Marussia, like Caterham, revealed that it didn't have the necessary funding to contest the United States Grand Prix, the scheduling of which meant they would also miss the Brazilian race.

The team was put in administration in early November and in later December most of its remaining assets were sold at auction. The dream of 2010 had ended.

Beaten 13-2 in qualifying by his teammate, on race day also the Briton failed to keep pace with his greatest yardstick - the guy in the identical car.

On the other hand, unlike 2013, not once in 2014 did Max start from the last slot on the grid.

Despite his backing, Max was unable to secure an F1 drive or even a reserve seat, and at the close of the year is understood to be considering WEC and DTM.

Share this page


Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2018. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  terms  |  privacy & security  |  rss