Chilton 'more motivated than ever'
Max Chilton is ready to end Marussia's points drought after becoming a fitness freak over the winter.
After four seasons in Formula One without a point to their name, the Banbury-based marque stand poised to rid themselves of such a horrid statistic.
The sport's sweeping new regulations have offered Marussia the chance they have long craved of a top-10 finish, and Chilton is determined to become the driver that makes history for the team.
To that end, Chilton put himself through the pain barrier during the off-season to ensure he could lead Marussia in their quest - starting on Sunday with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
"I'm more motivated and physically ready than I ever have been," Chilton said.
"Everyone always says they have trained more over the winter than they have ever done, but with me that is 100 per cent true.
"I had two weeks off after Brazil (the final race of last season), but then after that I trained every single day more than ever, bar one Sunday and Christmas Day.
"I approached it well, I feel really ready for this season, and it would mean everything to me to claim the team's first point.
"Last year my goal was purely to get that first point. Unfortunately we didn't get it, although we came close.
"Last year we also said it was our best year to do it, but now this really is our best year because the rule changes have completely stirred everything up."
With the majority of the teams struggling for reliability as they get to grips with the new 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged engines and energy recovery systems, Chilton knows Marussia have a chance to pounce.
"If we're going to do it then we need to do it in the first few races, and that's why I've got myself so ready over the winter," Chilton added.
"And these first four races represent our best chance because we don't have the resources of other teams.
"We're not a team that can bolt on updates every other race, so we'd like to think our best chance is early on.
"That's not to say we're not going to do it in the last race of the year.
"But people will definitely be getting things wrong in the first few races, and if we can capitalise on that and I can bring the car home then we could be celebrating together."
Although the first two tests were disappointing for Marussia, come the third the car showed some reliability to raise optimism within the entire organisation.
Chilton said: "The car this year is 50 per cent more technical, yet we don't have any more people, but everyone has been working so hard.
"It was hard enough getting the car built, but then to work out how it works has taken super-long hours.
"The more hours you do, the more you get motivated, so if we can get a point then it would really mean everything to the team."