21-year-old Max Chilton says he's 'ready' for F1 debut

By Mike Williams
Newsbeat reporter

image copyrightGetty Images

Max Chilton will race in his first professional Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend as the 2013 season gets underway in Melbourne, Australia.

The 21-year-old will race for the Marussia team after impressing them as the team's reserve driver last year.

"I've slowly settled in and I'm sure by the first race I'll be fully ready," Max Chilton said.

"I'm obviously still learning plenty of things, but it's going really well and I'm happy."

He finished fourth in last season's GP2 Series with two victories and says he feels ready to make the step up to F1.

"I've had to up my fitness," he said. "These are a lot longer races than what I'm used to in GP2, F1 races are probably another 40 minutes on top of the hour we do already, that's the hardest bit.

"There's a lot more dials you've got to turn on the wheel, you've got to constantly change gears.

"It's amazing how much concentration that takes, it takes some time getting used to."

Max Chilton, from Reigate in Surrey, will race alongside Brazilian Luiz Razia at Marussia and is the fourth British driver on the grid alongside Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta.

He gave his advice for any aspiring F1 drivers.

"Get into a go-kart as young as you can," he said. "I was nine, but a lot of people are doing it younger.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMax Chilton examines his car after spinning off the track during testing last month

"Take the most out of everything you get, the sooner you can step up and get into cars the quicker you can learn something."

It's believed Max Chilton was able to get large financial backing to help fund his debut F1 season, but he denies the claim that only people from wealthy backgrounds can compete in the sport.

"You do need some backing to get into it, but there are plenty of schemes out there that can help you get to where you want to get."

He also reassured British motorsport fans that he wouldn't follow his fellow British drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button and move to Monaco - for the time being.

"I do love Monaco, but I love my home country even more, as long as possible I think I'll stay there."

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