Mar 16, 2013, 4:30 AM EDT
Marussia driver Max Chilton has expressed his delight with his first Formula One qualifying performance to Sky Sports.
Despite qualifying eventually being postponed until the following morning, the weather allowed Q1 to go ahead as normal after a thirty minute delay. In his first outing, Chilton qualified in 20th place ahead of both Caterham drivers, and the Briton suggested he may have gone even quicker had it not been for red flags late on.
“For my first qualifying it was pretty challenging, but I’m really happy with it. It was a real shame about the yellow flags as I had to back out and lost a lot of time.
“But we finished ahead of Caterham and that’s what we wanted. The car was a real joy to drive and we’re happy with our job.”
Chilton was also relishing the opportunity of competing in his first race on Sunday, but he set himself the modest target of simply finishing.
“It looks like it will be dry on Sunday and I know we’ve got a quick car in the dry, so either way we’re comfortable. Hopefully we can bring both cars home.”
Teammate Jules Bianchi qualified just in front of Chilton in 19th place, albeit by eight-tenths of a second.
The Australian Grand Prix is renowned for its high rate of attrition, and this could work in Chilton’s favor relying he can get his car to the finish, potentially taking advantage of retirements throughout the race.