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Marussia teams up with Carlin in GP2

ESPNF1 Staff
February 24, 2012 « Bird to race in World Series by Renault | Suspension issue curtails Marussia's test »
Carlin's GP2 car will run in Marussia livery in 2012 © Carlin
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Marussia has joined forces with Carlin to enter a GP2 team and strengthen its Young Driver Programme.

The Marussia Carlin GP2 Team will enter the GP2 series with a driver line-up of Rio Haryanto and Max Chilton in 2012. Marussia and Carlin previously worked together in 2011 when Marussia-backed Robert Wickens won the 2011 Formula Renault championship for Carlin. Marussia team principal John Booth said the team's presence in GP2 now meant it had a "comprehensive ladder" to help young drivers to Formula One.

"Our Young Driver Programme now comprises all the racing categories that are key stepping stones for a driver to navigate their way to the very top and I am very proud of the support we can offer to the next generation of motor racing talent," Booth said. "Since the GP2 Series runs alongside the F1 calendar we will be able to keep a very close watch on Rio and Max from the Marussia F1 Team pitwall.

"Our Young Driver Programme is a big part of the Marussia F1 Team philosophy, but having spent many years helping to shape the future for many young drivers, it gives me great personal pleasure that we now have a comprehensive ladder that can take drivers with the best potential all the way to the very top."

Haryanto raced for Marussia's GP3 team in both 2010 and 2011, finishing seventh in the championship last year with two wins, and he said his debut year in GP2 would be "a steep learning curve".

"Carlin is a team that has produced many championship winning drivers over the years," he said. "The first year in GP2 will be a steep learning curve but I will be trying to learn as much as possible and aim for consistent results. I am looking forward to the challenge. I am also grateful for the continued support from Pertamina, who have been supporting my motorsport activities."

Chilton will embark on his third season in GP2, and second with Carlin. He said the link-up with Marussia gave an added edge to the year ahead.

"I'm very excited about the season ahead in GP2," Chilton said. "Although we didn't get the results we'd hoped for last season, we had a very good car and I can't wait to get back on track and build on the progress we've made over the winter. To be racing in Marussia livery makes the season ahead even more exciting, and as a driver I'm delighted to be associated with such a young and promising F1 team."