We have strengthened our Young Driver Programme with the announcement that it will contend the GP2 Series in 2012 with Carlin. The team will be entered as the Marussia Carlin GP2 Team.
The addition of this formula to the Programme means we are now represented across the full spectrum of the junior racing categories, including Formula Renault, GP3 Series and GP2 Series.
The GP2 Series, which embarks on its seventh season of competition, is the strongest Formula One feeder category where the best emerging talent in motor racing vie for the attentions of the Formula One teams they run alongside, hoping to one day follow in the footsteps of their forebears. Some 50 drivers have so far received the opportunity to drive an F1 car as a result of their time in GP2 since it began, including our 2012 driver line-up of Timo Glock and Charles Pic.
Carlin is one of the most successful single-seater teams outside F1, having won over 215 races in Porsche Supercup, Nissan World Series, Formula BMW UK, World Series by Renault and F3 Euro Series and claimed seven British F3 championships and the Formula Renault 3.5 drivers’ title in 2010, and again in 2011 with Marussia-backed Robert Wickens.
We are also pleased to announce that its GP2 driver line-up for 2012 will be Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto and British hopeful Max Chilton. We already have close links with 19 year old Rio having schooled him in the GP3 Championship for the past two seasons with Marussia Manor Racing. He was their highest-ranked driver in 2010, which earned him the chance to make his Formula One testing debut at the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test that year at the tender age of 16 years old. Rio was retained for a further season in 2011, when he continued to underline his potential with race wins, shining in the trickiest of conditions. The team is delighted to continue supporting him as he progresses to the next level of what promises to be an exciting career.
20 year old Max enters his third season of GP2 competition and raced for Carlin in the GP2 Series and GP2 Asia Series in 2011. He also enjoyed his first taste of Formula One machinery at the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test, in 2011 when he drove for the Force India team.
John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team
“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. 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.”
“I am looking forward to my first year in the GP2 Series with the Marussia Carlin GP2 Team. Carlin is a team that has produced many championship winning drivers over the years. 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.”
“I’m very excited about the season ahead in GP2. 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.”