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MOTORSPORT: Chilton happy after achieving F1 ambition
10:00am Monday 18th March 2013 in Sport
Max Chilton managed to tick a box yesterday, although he admits his Formula 1 debut in the Australian Grand Prix was far from the dream ride he had hoped for.
Chilton finished 17th in his Banbury-based Marussia of the 18 drivers who saw the chequered flag.
The 21-year-old, from Rei-gate, was a lap behind teammate Jules Bianchi, the gap caused after a collision with Giedo van der Garde, driving a Leafield-based Caterham, early in the race that forced an unscheduled stop for a front wing.
Chilton, though, at least made it to the end as he said: “It was not a dream race, but I learned more than if it had gone perfectly.
“It was great beforehand because all the crowd were cheering my name on the parade lap. I enjoyed that.
“Overall, I was happy with the job I did and the car, and I can now tick off the fact I have done an F1 race and brought the car home. That was the goal.”
As for the collision with Van der Garde, the resultant stop pitched Chilton back on to the track when the front-runners were making their way through, which in turn posed its own problems.
“I hit the blue flag period (waved to back markers), and it was a bit of a battle to recover the ground I lost,” said Chilton.
“Obviously you don’t want to be messing up other people’s race, but there is a bit of an art to it and you learn when to go off line.”
Meanwhile, Charles Pic, Van der Garde’s Caterham teammate, was 16th.