Max Chilton has dismissed claims his father’s wealth is the only reason he secured a seat with the Marussia F1 Team.
The 22-year-old admits he’s had to put up with the jibes throughout his career, but says his father – who holds a senior position at insurance giant Aon – isn’t the sole reason behind his climb through the ranks.
“I’ve had that negativity all my career,” he told The Times. “You have to put it behind you, and not focus on it. It is complete rubbish. It’s fuel to drive you on to be even better. I put it behind me a long time ago.”
Whilst he doesn’t deny his father has helped him in the lower ranks, something he says is common amongst racing drivers, he is adamant he secured his position at Marussia by selling himself to sponsors.
“F1 was the only time I did not want him to help me.” he added. “I was adamant. Thirty sponsors got me here. We call it “selling a leg”. I am incredibly thankful to them for believing in me. They know I am here to make a return on their investment.
“Sometimes, people are a little bit critical and use my father’s support as something against me. But ultimately, a Formula One team would never accept you unless you were able to do the job, and I have done that.”