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GP Week : Issue 174
Last week the news broke that Marussia were in worse financial straits than previously thought, when the team accounts revealed that the Banbury-based racers had lost £49 million last year. “We are in active discussions with potential new investors in the business and also pursuing other sources of income including potential sponsorship,” team chief exec Andy Webb told The Guardian. One rumoured new investor was thought to be Aon, the insurance firm with Grahame Chilton – father of reser ve driver Max – as vice chairman. But according to the young racer, Aon money is not heading to Marussia with the express purpose of securing the reser ve driver a full-time drive for next season. “People look at it and say ‘you've got the money to do it’,” the British racer told the Press Association on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, “but my dad has always said ‘I'll get you to as high as I can, but F1 I can't do’. I’m sure he could stretch and do it, but he doesn’t want to. “Instead, he’s managed to find two sponsors. They are British, which is good, so we could have four Brits on the grid next year and two more British sponsors. It’s not silly money – and I haven't got a seat yet – but my family don't have to spend a penny. Hopefully people will learn that it’s not from the family, it’s from sponsors.” Team principal John Booth confirmed that Chilton had not been signed to partner Timo Glock, and according to the paddock rumour mill Marussia have made a ‘funding for a seat’ presentation to three drivers: Charles Pic, Chilton, and Bruno Senna. “We are certainly nowhere near making that decision yet," Marussia team principal John Booth told Reuters. “There are commercial implications on almost every driver decision outside the top four teams; the negotiations are only just under way, so it may take a month yet. I hope Max will stay with us in one form or another, he's part of our family now; we'll see how things progress over the next month.” Chilton was given the chance to prove his capabilities behind the wheel on Friday morning, but that audition was not directly tied to a seat. “We obviously need to see what Charles is doing, if there is a spare seat,” Chilton said astutely on Friday afternoon. “I think I needed to impress the team and I think that I have done that today, but nothing's done [for next season]. Hopefully, I can get in for next year but, if not, we will have to work on something over the winter.” MARUSSIA’S FINANCIAL WOES WORSE THAN PRESUMED F1 >>> NEWS TICKETS & MEMBERSHIPS NOW AVAILABLE The F1 Art Breakfast Exhibiting Photography by Sutton Images. Gold at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin Saturday, November 17th 7:00AM - 10:00AM www.goldatthefour.com www.bluatthew.com 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: