Over the next week or so I'll be reviewing the 2013 F1 season looking back at the top 10 stories from a season dominated by one man and his RB9, however, starting at the back let's look at rookie Max Chilton and his perfect finishing record.
It’s strange throughout the entirety of 2013 there have been so many stories up and down the F1 grid and yet I think this is the first time I will ever write an article about Chilton.
The young Briton came in at Marussia for 2013 and lived up to the British tradition of being plucky grafter who can’t quite keep up with the rest, yet at season’s end here he is as the first rookie in F1 history to finish every race.
Naturally when you are perhaps the slowest driver on the grid making the finish becomes the top priority as it puts you in a position to capitalise on retirements ahead but the fact Chilton was able to be consistent and turn every lap of the 2013 season is something to be proud of.
There is no doubting his backing was a key part of him getting the drive at Marussia and it was probably a year or two early for the 22-year-old but considering he was in a car that was probably the slowest for much of the year and was against a more experienced team-mate in Jules Bianchi, he’s done the job he was asked.
Over the year he had a best qualifying of 16th as he made Q2 for the first time in the wet session at the Belgian Grand Prix.
In the races he managed a best of 14th in Monaco after recovering from a collision with Pastor Maldonado at Tabac. Interestingly that was only one position behind the best for a slower team driver this season as Bianchi finished 13th in Malaysia, and on average was finishing around 17th place albeit last of the finishers.
Chilton may have his critics, particularly in a time when potentially faster drivers are missing out on F1, however, as long as he retains a drive in F1 for 2014 he can gain on the experience of this season and use the clean slate of a new style of racing to close the gap to those ahead.
There is no doubt it has been a difficult first year for him in F1 but certainly finishing all 19 races proves he has the consistency all he needs now is a little more speed.
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