Chilton happy with dramatic debut
Max Chilton overcame early nerves in facing a rain-lashed qualifying debut to leave himself "encouraged" ahead of Sunday's Australian GP.
Heavy rain battered Melbourne's Albert Park, forcing an initial half-hour delay to the opening 20-minute session.
That added to the sense of anticipation for Chilton in the build-up to his maiden qualifying run in Formula One with Marussia.
The 21-year-old from Reigate managed to steady himself before taking to the track, producing a measured performance despite the miserable conditions.
Chilton and team-mate Jules Bianchi out-qualified rivals Caterham, and kept their cars on the track as Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde were involved in spins that saw them lose their front wings.
The Briton - who will start 20th, one place behind Bianchi - said: "I'm pretty pleased with how it went when you look at the circumstances.
"When you're sat in the car for half an hour and the pit lane looks like a river, it's slightly unnerving. It's not what I'd contemplated for my first F1 qualifying experience.
"With that in mind, I'm really encouraged with how we fared. Now my thoughts turn to tomorrow and I can't wait, rain or shine."
Team principal John Booth was ecstatic with how Chilton and fellow rookie Bianchi coped under the conditions to leave Caterham behind them on the grid.
Booth said: "It was a big ask of two rookies to face a qualifying session like the one we've experienced today.
"But then we have absolute faith in our line-up and that has been rewarded.
"Both Jules and Max performed admirably in what must have been very daunting conditions and we are very pleased with where we find ourselves.
"But I have to admit we were disappointed to be faced with a wet qualifying.
"The car looked good in the dry yesterday and we were hoping to use qualifying as the barometer it can be in showcasing relative outright performance.
"Nevertheless, that's racing and we'll continue to feel encouraged by a very positive start to the weekend - and hopefully the season."
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.