Max qualifies third in Malaysian GP2

Max Chilton will start the first GP2 Series race of the season from third on the grid tomorrow, following a strong qualifying performance at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia.  The Marussia Carlin driver confirmed his pre-season test pace to set the third fastest time in qualifying today.The GP2 drivers got their first taste of the impressive Sepang circuit this morning during free practice with Chilton continuing his current form as a front runner, finishing the session third quickest. 

Chilton used the time between practice and qualifying to hone his set-up with his Carlin engineers.  The weather stayed dry for the 30 minute qualifying session.  Chilton was soon on the pace and at the half way point was second quickest, just behind series veteran Davide Valsecchi. 

The final minutes of the session saw a flurry of activity as the drivers all pushed hard to improve their times.  Luiz Razia was one driver to do so, going 0.004 seconds quicker than Chilton and relegating the Briton to third place. 

Reflecting on his qualifying performance, Chilton said, “It was my best ever qualifying session and my most frustrating at the same time.  There was so much traffic, I came across about six cars on one of my flying laps and both myself and Giedo [van der Garde] had to back off quite a bit and then I took the last corner a little bit too steady when I was over three tenths up!  But I’m happy with our pace today, the car feels brilliant and we’ve hardly had to make any changes.  I’m starting on the clean side of the grid so getting off the line and into turn one cleanly is the big goal tomorrow.” 

Trevor Carlin added, “This is a great start to the year for the team.  Max was P2 for most of the session and was disappointed to drop to third, which is a reflection of the expectations that he and the team have for this season.  He should be very pleased with his effort though which stands him in good stead for the race.”Race one of the season will take place at 11am local time (GMT +8) tomorrow.

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