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The race is on for Chilton

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MAX CHILTON says he only has eyes on securing a Formula One drive for 2013.

The 21-year-old from Reigate is favourite to take the vacant seat at Marussia Racing after French driver Charles Pic moved to Caterham at the end of the season.

However, Chilton said if a deal didn't come off in the next few weeks, he will not be going back to GP2 and will look to stay in the F1 paddock as an official reserve driver.

"I was happy to see Charles go because it opened up a seat a Marussia," he said. "I'm still working on that side of things, but I want to step up as a race driver and not just a reserve.

"I don't think anyone can say you are ready for F1 unless you feel you are personally ready and I want to get that seat. I don't think I'd do GP2 again.

"If things don't come off, I'll look for a reserve driver somewhere to get more free practice, more time in a car. But I haven't spent much time thinking about that to be honest, because I want that seat at Marussia."

Chiton was named Marussia's official reserve driver towards the end of the season and took part in the first practice session at Abu Dhabi where he impressed, finishing just a second down on team-mate Timo Glock.

It came off the back of a breakthrough season in GP2, where he took his maiden podium in the first race in Malaysia and then took his first wins in Budapest and Singapore.

"They say GP2 is the feeder series to F1," he said. "I've done three years there and feel ready. Last season I was the highest points scorer in the second half and I think it's a good stepping stone up to F1.

"Marussia haven't said when they are making an announcement. I know they were hoping to do something before Christmas. The team at the factory want to know and hopefully it will be soon, but there's no deadline."

If Chilton does get the seat it will make him the fourth British driver on the grid in 2013.


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