Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton has said that it is almost impossible for teams to pay for their drivers in the current economic climate. As a result, there is an increasing group of drivers, who pay for their racing seat through sponsors. Chilton is also one of the drivers who has been able to secure a seat on the Formula One grid by paying sponsorship to the Marussia F1 team. Even though they have an annual budget of £ 39 million, it is insignificant in the sport where the top drivers earn around the same amount.
Drivers like Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel are paid to race at the top level, while the likes of Chilton come into the sport hoping to show their skills and quality. The 21-year-old has said that it is almost unavoidable in the sport in the current economic climate. He has pointed out to the fact that more than 75% of the drivers on the grid right now are sponsoring their team in one way or the other. The 21-year-old rookie has had a decent start to the F1 career.
He has been able to finish all the four races he has started so far. However, he is yet to collect points in the F1 season.
“With the current (financial) situation in Formula One, probably 75 percent plus of the drivers on this grid have to bring something to the team. In the UK, you have what’s called an Enterprise Investment Scheme… and the new venture here is investing in a young and up-and-coming driver. Obviously it’s not the dream way of doing it because you’re giving away part of your future. It’s a good way of doing it and I think a lot of people will start doing it in the future,” said Chilton senior.
Marussia have been left disappointed after the Monaco Grand Prix, as they saw their hard-earnt tenth place in the Constructor’s Championship taken by rivals Caterham. Despite scoring no points so far this season, Timo Glock’s 14th place in Australia had put them in 10th, but Heikki Kovalainen climbed to 13th at the weekend and displaced the Russian team. It will be particularly frustrating since Glock could have overtaken the Finn he had not been forced to pit to fit a new nose on the car.
Despite this setback, 14th place for one of their drivers does equal their best this season, and before their other driver Charles Pic had to retire 64 laps in with an electrical issue they must have been happy with the performances. Timo Glock is also thinking positively, and to be racing early on against Jenson Button in a McLaren must be a situation that the team would have been dreaming about last year.
“A bit of a disappointing end to a race that started so well,” the German said. “We had good speed at the beginning and for the first 10 laps I could stick with Jenson quite well. We had good pace all the way until maybe the last quarter when the front wing end plate broke. We don’t know for sure why; maybe because of the touch with Perez early in the race. We will have to see what caused it.”
Marussia boss John Booth is happy to put down the race as a missed opportunity and look forward to the Canadian Grand Prix for ways to improve. “We will take the lessons we’ve learned from this weekend and apply them positively as we prepare for the next race and beyond,” said Booth. “I’m generally happy with my performance and that of the team, but its disappointing to hold on to tenth place for so long and now drop back. That’s racing though and not for long we have to hope. Now we focus on Canada and look forward to some better luck.”
Marussia’s team principal John Booth has vigorously denied rumours that his team may not complete the 2012 season, following speculation that the team may not exist in another few months.
The team, formerly known as Virgin Racing, now has Russian sports car manufacturer Marussia as its primary sponsor, and although its drivers did eventually make it to the Australian Grand Prix, it looked for some time as though they were not going to make the necessary leaps forward to compete this year. They weren’t able to run cars at any of the three pre-season testing sessions, most notably missing the final testing run in Barcelona after failing the compulsory FIA crash test.
However, when the first race of the season set off in Melbourne last weekend, Charles Pic and Timo Glock were representing Marussia on the grid, and Glock completed the race although he was lapped and the only drivers he beat were those who retired prematurely. Pic had to retire 53 laps in with an oil pressure problem. Even this is something of an achievement though, when compared to the other team who have had similar problems. HRT Cosworth were denied the chance to race at Albert Park in Australia when they both recorded a qualifying time well outside of the 107% limit (of the fastest time), which came into force last season.
Marussia’s team principal John Booth seemed adamant that his team would continue to compete throughout 2012 when questioned recently, though Williams F1 still won’t be too worried. “Of course we’ll see out the season. We’ve strong sponsors and we’re very happy with them as they’ve been very loyal to us,” said Booth. “Our shareholders are committed to taking us through to 2014. We are not attracting many new sponsors, but I don’t think any team in the pitlane is doing that.”
Booth also emphasized how unlikely it was to get both cars to the chequered flag last weekend. “Going into the race in Melbourne the most number of consecutive laps we had done was eight, and we had to try to do 58,” he said. “What unfolded was actually much better than we could have hoped for, which is a testament to the design guys and the fact we have a competent group of people now who know how to design an F1 car”
Marussia has finally revealed their brand new Formula 1 car – the MR01 – after the team made its on track debut on Monday at the Silverstone track.
The Anglo-Russian F1 team is running their car for the very first time at the Silverstone track after the car failed the compulsory crash tests and they were not able to join other teams at the at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona for the final pre-season test.
John Booth, the Marussia team principal told that they are very pleased to be running the brand new MR01 this morning. It has been a frustrating and long wait for all in the team, but now they can get back on the track and start working for the season opener race at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia, next week.
He also added that this day is the very first 2 promotional events; therefore while the drivers will get a nice feel about the car, they will not be able to draw any conclusions till they began to race in Australian Grand Prix. None the less, this day is really important for the team itself and they will enjoy each moment on the track with this new car.
According to the team, MR01is the outcome of a ground-up rating of the way it figures its racing cars after only using CFD technology for their previous challengers. The new car, powered by Cosworth, has been designed by a group led by Pat Symonds, the technical consultant.
The team admitted that, last year, the technical partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies has been quite important in the design process. The new MR01 car is the only other Formula 1 car not to feature a platypus-style nose along with McLaren’s challenger. Marussia told that Charles Pic and Timo Glock will share driving responsibilities at Silverstone circuit today and tomorrow.