Chilton satisfied with learning experience

Max Chilton managed to tick a box on Sunday, although he admits his Formula One debut was far from the dream ride he had hoped for.

Max Chilton, Australian F1 Grand Prix - Practice

Chilton finished 17th in his Marussia of the 18 who saw the chequered flag in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne's Albert Park.

The 21-year-old from Reigate was a lap behind team-mate Jules Bianchi, the gap caused after a collision with Caterham's Giedo van der Garde 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.

"It's good to get the race under my belt, even if it was less than straightforward, and we now know where we stand relative to the competition."

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.

"It is one of those things you don't know until you've done a race."

But with Marussia competitive, certainly in relation to their nearest rival in Caterham, Chilton heads to Malaysia for next Sunday's second round in buoyant mood.

"We are confident," added Chilton.

"Although the race had its frustrations, I feel like I've learned a lot I perhaps wouldn't have learned otherwise and that will be useful experience over the next few races.

"I'm looking forward to Malaysia now so I can roll all that back into my racing and be able to take the fight to the midfield pack.

"I was in Malaysia last year in GP2 and I managed to get on the podium, so I know the track in the wet and dry."



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