sport

Chilton eyes maiden points finish

Max Chilton is hoping Marussia can finally break their points duck in Formula One this weekend.

With the team now in their fifth season in the sport, and after 81 races, the Banbury-based marque have yet to trouble the scorers.

In light of the regulation changes for this season, the start of the campaign - when unreliability was expected to be high - was thought to be Marussia's best hope of making the breakthrough.

But all teams have quickly managed to conquer the gremlins that were in evidence in testing and over the first couple of races as 20 of 22 drivers saw the chequered flag last time out in China.

For this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, the Marussia cars will be sporting considerable upgrades Chilton would like to believe can propel him into the top 10.

"In the points? It's going to be hard, but we've quite good updates here, so I'd like to think we've a better chance than we had in the first few rounds of the year. We've got to hope they work," said Chilton.

"Our car this year is quite impressive. In China I was following the likes of (Felipe) Massa and (Kevin) Magnussen. Through the corners I was not losing a huge loss of time on the overall lap.

"We've a pretty good car, and these updates should help."

The fact Chilton could closely match a Williams and a McLaren speaks volumes for Marussia's progress, even if he did finish an additional lap down on the duo come the conclusion.

"It shows how far we've come. This year we've made a good step. It's definitely promising," added Chilton, who has finished all 23 races in which he has so far competed.

"You look at the car now and it looks a lot more impressive than in previous years.

"With this upgrade, I'm sure it's the same amount as the top teams bring to every single race, but for us it is a good step forward."

Crucially from Chilton's personal perspective the 22-year-old has scored the two 13th places - in Australia and Bahrain - that means Marussia are currently 10th in the constructors' championship.

That, in turn, is keeping happy Chilton's personal sponsors who have helped him acquire his seat with the team.

"It's been a good start, not the dream start, but at the end of the day we're 10th, and that was our aim coming into the season," said Chilton.

"It's certanly good on my side of the garage because my sponsors like me to do well, and I've scored the two 13th places which have counted for the team.

"Jules (team-mate Bianchi) did it last year, but for me to have finished well twice in four races is all good so far."