Former Formula 1 driver, Max Chilton, has made the move to Chip Ganassi Racing to contest the 2016 IndyCar season in its entirety. This comes after many questions to who would take over the No.8 entry for the upcoming season. Sebastian Saavedra and Sage Karem were also prime candidates for the seat.
Max Chilton made his way to America in 2015 after leaving Formula 1. He would then join the new Indy Lights team Carlin expanding from other junior formula series. He would team with rookie Ed Jones who would go on to win the first 3 rounds of the season. Chilton would win in just his third oval race at Iowa. Adding to his win Chilton would sweep pole position for the double header Laguna Seca races. Along with Indy Lights, Chilton also drove for the now defunct Nissan LMP1 team.
The 24 year old credits his Iowa win to getting a ride with a team like Ganassi. After the win Chilton was contacted by every IndyCar team excluding one.
“People realized that was only my second ever oval race and so they were taken aback by that. For a European driver to win on an oval that early is pretty rare. The following week, I got contacted by every team bar one and I had a sort of filter system. And there was one I wanted to be with, and that was actually the one I signed with a few weeks ago.”
Chilton will have plenty of help at Ganassi with 4-time champion Scott Dixon, 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, and race winner Charlie Kimball backing up the young Brit as teammates. Adding to this stable of talent is former driver, 4 time champion, and Ganassi driving coach Dario Franchitti.
“I spoke to Dario Franchitti and he said it took him three years to feel comfortable there. So I’ve just got to soak it up. I’ve got three of the best teammates I could have in Tony, Scott and Charlie and they have so much experience I can soak up. That’s what I’ve got to do.”
Chilton has made it known that the team’s driver line up and accomplishments are reasons he decided to come to Chip Ganassi Racing.
“This organisation is built on winning and their 11 IndyCar championships back that up. Chip is the kind of team owner that every driver dreams of working for in their career. He’s accomplished so much in so many different categories over the years, and I can’t wait to start driving for him.”
Featured image courtesy of Indycar.com – http://www.indycar.com/News/2016/02/02-01-Ganassi-Signs-Chilton-For-2016