Chilton closes in on Marussia race seat

Max Chilton has revealed he has secured the money needed to land himself a race seat with Marussia next season.

Formula 1 News: Timo Glock, Marussia

Seven weeks ago Marussia confirmed Chilton as their reserve driver for the remainder of the current Formula One campaign.

The 21-year-old from Reigate will be given his first taste of a F1 weekend as he will take over from Charles Pic in the opening practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday.

It is yet another positive step for Chilton, who has met the financial demands asked of him by Marussia to potentially secure a drive for 2013.

And Chilton is adamant father Grahame, who is non-executive chairman of insurance giant Aon Benfield's UK holding company and reportedly worth around £100million, is not his benefactor.

With the necessary backing, it is now a question of whether Pic moves on as the Frenchman has been linked with a switch to Caterham.

"I'm trying to get the race seat here," said Chilton.

"I've managed to get two sponsors together for next year, to get the whole budget together, if the seat is available, which means as a family we don't have to put a penny in.

"My dad has always said he would get me to where I need, but that he won't put in any money. Luckily I now have the money.

"Now it's down to whatever happens in the middle part of the grid. You have to see what happens there, and then that filters down.

"At the moment I'm just waiting to see what happens there."

According to Chilton, the belief within Marussia is that "they think Charles is going off elsewhere".

He added: "I've heard Caterham and it's either there or Force India. They are the only teams really available.

"I know how much is needed there (at Force India), and it's a lot. He'd have to find a big budget for that."

Should Pic move, the picture looks rosy for Chilton to become the fourth British driver on the grid in 2013 alongside Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta.

Chilton said: "Potentially it's looking good. You're not ready until you feel ready, and I feel ready. I know I've got the speed.

"But F1 is all about politics, and you have to see what seats are available and hopefully I'll get one.

"At the moment I'm excited about the future. I feel like I'm in a good situation, and hopefully something will come about in the next couple of months.

"It would be nice to know before Christmas."

As for Friday, Chilton is naturally excited, but will work to a pre-planned programme and given the limitations will not be in a position to display his potential.

But after twice driving for Marussia in a young driver test, notably this year at Silverstone where he covered enough kilometres to gain the necessary superlicence to drive in F1, Chilton is ready for his chance.

"I feel pretty good and prepared," added Chilton.

"I started the week feeling a little nervous about it, but the nearer you get to it the more you focus and realise what you have to do, so you get less nervous.

"I'm sure when I get the helmet on tomorrow I won't have to worry and I'll just be doing the job asked of me, but I'm very excited.

"Tomorrow [Saturday] isn't to prove myself - at least I hope not - I think they know I'm quick enough.

"The main thing to impress them is to do the job they want me to do."

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