Formula 1 2013 driver profile: Max Chilton

The youngest driver in the field has to keep his mind on the track and avoid any distractions in his debut season.

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Team: Marussia
Nationality: British
Birth date: 21/04/1991

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First F1 race: Australian Grand Prix, 2013
2012 points: N/A
2012 best finish: N/A
2012 championship position: N/A

He looks like he could easily be the sixth member of One Direction and perhaps that’s apt as his career trajectory so far has gone singularly upwards, and at breakneck speed.

In fact, if there was an official fast-track Formula One scheme it would have trouble keeping up with the 21-year-old from Reigate.

Karting as a 10-year-old, Max graduated to T Car racing by the age of 14, moved onto Formula 3 at 16, made his Formula 2 debut at 18, was test driving F1 cars by 20 and now takes his place as the youngest Formula 1 driver this season. If that’s a breathless sentence to read, just imagine having lived it.

Chilton’s progress has been well and truly whirlwind but, for the moment at least, his feet seem firmly on the ground.

His youthful enthusiasm for motor-racing shines through whenever he talks about his debut season; from recalling those Sunday afternoons planted in front of the BBC F1 coverage as a boy to imagining the chance to race alongside some of his heroes.

It will be a battle for him to stay true to that innocence though. He’s already been a victim of the Daily Mail paps, on a beach holiday with girlfriend Chloe Roberts this year, and you can bet the interest in him will be on an exponential upward curve throughout the season.

The key thing for Chilton is to make sure his finishing positions do the same thing and that his head isn’t turned by all the publicity.

2013 predictions: “I’m obviously still learning plenty of things, but it’s going really well and I’m happy. I’ve had to up my fitness, these are a lot longer races than what I’m used to in GP2, so that’s the hardest bit.”
 
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Max’s Dad is vice-chairman of insurance firm Aon and helps to fund his brother Tom’s World Touring Car Championship team.