Max Chilton and Jan Charouz will race for Carlin in this month’s non-championship GP2 finale at Abu Dhabi. Chilton, who enjoyed a promising year with Carlin in the team’s debut season in GP2 will be joined by Czech driver Jan Charouz who has spent 2011 as part of Lotus Renault GP’s driver academy. The Czech racer also competed in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
20 year-old Chilton spent 2011 competing for Carlin in the prestigious GP2 Series, a well renowned feeder category for Formula One, where he was a regular top 10 qualifier. While some bad luck robbed him of the points tally he deserved, Chilton has high hopes for the season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit, having qualified well there earlier this year.
Making a welcome debut with Carlin in Abu Dhabi will be Jan Charouz who has been Lotus Renault GP’s reserve driver for the past two years and is also a part of the F1 team’s driver academy programme. Charouz has been competing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series this season and now looks forward to his first race in a GP2 car with Carlin.
GP2 is no stranger to the Yas Marina Circuit, a track which has hosted rounds of the GP2 Asia Series for the past three years. The Abu Dhabi circuit is in fact where Carlin made its GP2 race debut earlier this year. One of the circuit’s best known features is the long straight which is over a kilometre long, however overtaking remains notoriously difficult around the 5.5 km track.
Speaking about the 2011 finale, Chilton said, “I’m excited about the Abu Dhabi race, we raced here at the start of the year and were quick – now with the experience we’ve gained as a team in 2011 we should be even stronger.
“It’s a great place; I love the high speed turns two and three but the whole track is wicked. It sometimes feels like you’re driving a computer game! The track also has a really nice atmosphere. I hope that I can get on the podium for the team and bring a trophy back for them.”
Team mate Charouz added, “I’m really looking forward to the experience. My season this year wasn’t great so I’m hoping to make the most of this last race of the season and I think Carlin will give me the car to do that. I tested in Abu Dhabi in 2010, so I do have some experience of the circuit which I think will be helpful.”
Trevor Carlin added, “We’re very pleased to have a driver of Jan’s experience in the team. This will be his first GP2 race so it will be a steep learning curve, but we expect him to cope well. Of course we’re very pleased to be going back to Abu Dhabi with Max, we had a good race there earlier this year and we expect to build on that performance. We’re aiming for the podium”.
The non-championship round at Abu Dhabi will take place from 11 – 13 November.