Chilton shines in young driver test

Max Chilton has enjoyed a successful two day test with Force India this week as part of the young driver Formula One test in Abu Dhabi. Coming off the back of a challenging GP2 weekend Max impressed in the F1 car and was able to gather data for the team which will be used in their preparations for the final F1 round in Brazil. Max also ended the final day of the test as the highest placed rookie with only those with previous F1 test experience ahead of him.

Chilton had previously only tested the Sahara Force India car in a straight line test and the team welcomed the 20 year old Brit back to the cockpit this week to give him the opportunity to show his skill in the pinnacle of motorsport.

Jumping into the car on Tuesday morning, Max dealt well with the multitude of controls and KERS system; and put in impressive and consistent lap times. A small KERS glitch did little to hamper the young Brit’s progress and Max was still able to finish the afternoon sixth quickest.

His second day in the Force India saw Max make further improvements; in the morning he put in a time which was good enough to see him positioned fourth fastest, despite a precautionary pause out on track due a slight sensor problem. Soon receiving the all clear, Max returned to the track for the afternoon session.

Max was immediately on the pace again in and was producing great times. Max was about to set his fastest time, a time which would have been good enough to surpass the McLaren of Oliver Turvey, however a red flag ended his best run. Max still finished the day in an impressive fifth position, only 0.062 seconds behind the McLaren. This excellent finish meant that Max ended the day as the highest placed true rookie having never tested an F1 car over one lap previously – those ahead of him in the timings had done so in the past.

After completing his first full F1 test and learning the complexities of the car, Max said, “I had two brilliant days in the Force India car, the first day we managed some good running and the second day was a real bonus for me. We focused on long runs today gathering data and simulating race conditions before I went out at the end of the day on super-soft tyres for a quick run – unfortunately I had to stop my best run because of a red flag but the team gathered great data for the next F1 round in Brazil which I’m extremely happy to have helped them with.

“It was a great experience which I’ve always wanted and I felt I drove the best I’ve ever driven. It’s definitely strengthened my wish to drive more cars like this in the future.”

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