Max Chilton has admitted he’s struggled to adapt to Formula One qualifying in his debut season and is eyeing an improvement in the second half of the season.
The 22-year-old Marussia driver has out-qualified team-mate Jules Bianchi only once in ten attempts this season and has set the slowest qualifying time five times.
Speaking to Sporting Life, Chilton said the lap times didn’t explain the whole situation, although he conceded he’s still got a lot of work to do to improve his times.
“I am a little frustrated [with the qualifying results] because qualifying has always been my strong point,” Chilton said.
“If you look back at my time in Formula Three and GP2, I know I’m a quick driver. Qualifying is one thing I’ve always been confident in.
“In qualifying the gaps have been a lot bigger than they should have, but that’s down to a mixture of things. It’s not always about looking at the timesheets. Sometimes you really have to know what’s going on behind the scenes,” he said.
The rookie, who drove for Marussia’s GP2 team before stepping up to F1 this year, secured a single pole position in the 24-race 2012 GP2 season on his way to finishing the year in fourth, one place behind current Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez.
“On the simulators we’re always very close because a lot of other things have been put to one side.”
“It’s not excuses – I know I’ve made a few mistakes, so it is the area on which I want to improve for the second half of the year because my race pace I’ve definitely been happy with.”
Chilton is currently last in the drivers standings with a highest race position of 14th, but he hopes an improvement on Saturday will set him up for better performances on Sunday.