Marussia eager to keep duo

Thursday 01-August-2013 09:25

Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi will remain at Marussia next season if team principal John Booth gets his way.

The Banbury-based squad started the year with the rookie pairing of Chilton and Bianchi, but the duo have done their hopes of staying on the grid no harm during the first 10 races of the campaign.

Bianchi, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, has out-qualified his team-mate at every race and finished P13 in Malaysia while Chilton's best performance to date was a 14th place in Monaco.

"We took a massive gamble with two race novices," admitted Booth.

"They both had a fair amount of mileage in F1 cars, so it wasn't like they were novices to Formula One.

"But it's been really impressive as to how few mistakes they've both made.

"With two rookies it could have finished in a right old mess, but you can count on one hand the mistakes made between them."

Asked if Chilton and Bianchi are doing enough to retain their seats, Booth replied: "Absolutely. I'd like to keep them both for next year.

"At the moment it depends on a variety of (contract) options and option expires and things like that.

"But we don't intend to leave our decision as late as we did for this year. We're hoping to be a bit more comfortable for this year."

Chilton welcomed Booth's comments, but he knows that it's not always about his on-track performance when it comes to negotiating a new contract.

"That's part of the behind-the-scenes stuff. I don't really know what's going on," he said.

"But we've nine races to go, and I know I can make this year look better than it has so far by improving on things.

"It's down to my management to get me a seat. I know I'd love to be with Marussia, especially as we'll have Ferrari with us next year (a powertrain supply from 2014) which will boost performance.

"I get on well with the team. I've been with them over a year now, and Jules is a good team-mate, so I'd love that to happen.

"If the team want me then I'd love to be here, but as you know in Formula One things can change quickly, so it's out of my control.

"All I can do is be the best driver I can be. Right now I know there are things I can work on."

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