Sky Sports exclusive: Max Chilton on his season, British GP debut & chances of a point
Marussia rookie not yet thinking about what will happen in 2014
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 27/06/13 7:18pm
Max Chilton insists his focus has to remain solely on delivering consistent performances in his debut Formula 1 season - continuing with his maiden British GP this weekend - if he is to secure his long-term future in the sport.
The 22-year-old Marussia rookie goes into his debut home race having made an encouraging start to his career at the top level with the Briton one of only five drivers in the field to boast a 100% finishing record after the opening seven rounds.
And while he has yet to finish a race ahead of his highly-regarded French team-mate Jules Bianchi when both drivers have finished, Chilton claimed a strong 14th in Monaco last month and has generally been steadily closing the gap to his fellow rookie since the start of the season.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports Online, Chilton said he was thoroughly enjoying life at motorsport's top table and that it was important he was showing his Marussia bosses that he was making consistent progress.
"It's brilliant," he told Anna Woolhouse, when asked about how he was finding his maiden F1 campaign.
"I'm a rookie and you're constantly learning but the main thing is that you use what you've learnt from the previous race into the next race and keep developing. You've got to perform well and I want to have a long career in Formula 1 and for that to happen I've got to keep getting results.
"It was great to get the 14th for Monaco because it showed what I can do and the team were really happy with it."
While Silverstone doesn't quite represent the mid-point of the season this year, speculation surrounding the 2014 driver market has been in motion for some time with the summer months traditionally the ones when the next season's driver puzzle begins to take shape.
Chilton, however, says for him it is still too early to focus about what might happen next year and it is imperative he keeps focused on performing on track.
"There's so much going on, the main thing I can do is just do the best job I can in every race and just prepare for the next race as well as I can," he said.
"Obviously the year does go round pretty quick and you've got to have yourself kind of settled for the next year, but I'm not really thinking about that yet. It is really too early this year and I've got to get more results under my belt to be thinking about the future."
An achievement that would likely aid Chilton's nascent attempts to establish himself as a permanent fixture on the grid would be to become the driver who finally breaks Marussia's points duck after three-and-a-half seasons in F1.
Asked about the likelihood of doing that on home soil this weekend, an upbeat Chilton replied: "The chances here are pretty good because of the weather. For us I think we need a bit of mix in weather to have the luck to get the job done.
"Obviously races like Monaco and Singapore, which are street circuits, there's more attrition and cars can crash out more. But at Silverstone we've got a good chance and I think our car's getting quick enough now that we don't always need the luck on our side to get the job done, we just need everything to run smoothly and I'd love to grab that first point for Marussia."
Irrespective of both the weather and Marussia's competitiveness around the fast-flowing Northamptonshire circuit, Chilton admits he is just thrilled to be a part of the occasion.
"It was a fantastic moment getting into Formula 1 and having my first race in Australia but every driver wants to race at their home grand prix and Silverstone's very special one because it's a big venue, we get over 100,000 people in the weekend come and spectate, so hopefully I can do the British fans proud and get the job done," he said.
"I've driven Silverstone for plenty of years but they had a big revamp three years ago and changed the circuit and it's now bigger and has more overtaking which is really good for the spectators to watch because there's more grandstands. So for everyone it's a win-win.
"I've driven the circuit for the last three years and now I'm going into my first Formula 1 race, so it's good to know the circuit."
Sky Sports News Radio have a special Silverstone preview hour on Thursday night from 7pm. Special guests include Max Chilton, Johnny Herbert and David Croft. Listen at skysports.com/radio or via the Sky Sports Apps