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Marussia to run GP2 drivers at Young Driver Test

ESPN Staff
July 10, 2012 « Montezemolo praises Massa drive | Williams keen to test Bottas »
Both Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto drive for the Marussia Carlin GP2 team © Sutton Images

Marussia will run Carlin's GP2 drivers Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto at the Silverstone Young Driver Test this week.

The test takes place on July 12 and 13 following the British Grand Prix last weekend, with only HRT and Williams - running Valtteri Bottas - attending as well as Marussia, while the rest of the teams opt to run at Abu Dhabi later in the year. Marussia team principal John Booth said it would be an opportunity for the drivers to show their potential in a Formula One car as they step up from the Marussia-backed Carlin GP2 team.

"We are very pleased to provide Max and Rio with some further Formula 1 seat time and the opportunity to show more of their obvious potential," Booth said. "We have been very encouraged by their performances so far in GP2 this season, and whilst we are supporting Max for the first time in 2012, we have obviously seen Rio at work since 2010 when he first raced for us in GP3.

"In terms of their programme, they will obviously have access to the data from last weekend's British Grand Prix and will be able to reference that when running to a basic set-up programme. We raced to a wet set-up there, so they will have the chance to adapt the programme to potentially contrasting track conditions. In addition to working with our race team engineers on procedures and controls, we will have plenty of new tyres which means they can work through some good qualifying and race runs and learn about the idiosyncrasies of the 2012 Pirelli rubber.

"Both Max and Rio are pretty fit anyway but this will be a good opportunity to provide them with information about their physical and mental approach to Formula 1 racing. We will also be integrating some of our GP3 team engineers into the day to afford them an opportunity to learn and progress within the family."

Chilton said that he felt better prepared to display his potential than he did when driving for Force India at the last Young Driver Test.

"I'm really excited to be taking part in the Young Driver Test for Marussia F1 Team," Chilton said. "I have driven an F1 car once before - the Force India in 2011 - but I feel that with another year of GP2 competition under my belt to develop my driving further I feel much more prepared this time and eager to demonstrate that progression. The team have come up with a great programme, which has a bit of everything we need to showcase our potential. I can't wait for the opportunity and thanks to the team, who have already been a great support to me in GP2 this season."

Haryanto said that he was hoping to continue impressing the team having first driven for Marussia Manor Racing (then Virgin Manor) in 2010.

"I would like to thank the Marussia F1 team for giving me this opportunity," he said. "Having worked with the team for the past three years in both GP3 and GP2, I feel part of the team already and I know they follow every race I have done with great interest. The team gave me my first F1 opportunity in 2010 in Abu Dhabi, however for this test at Silverstone I am much better prepared from a technical and fitness point of view. With the limited testing available in Formula 1, any time a young driver can spend in an F1 car is valuable for the future."