Max started his ascent to Formula 1 in karting at the age of 10 where regular podiums saw him graduate to T Car racing at the age of 14 where he stayed until 2007, finishing second in the Championship with an impressive 7 race wins.
Aged 16, he made the move up to single-seater racing with the Arena International Team in the highly respected Formula 3 series. After moving to Hitech Racing in 2008, he secured a podium finish in the first race of the season at Oulton Park, taking second spot, an astonishing achievement at such a young age. His impressive form continued with front row qualifications and a maiden pole in Monza.
The following year, Chilton returned to Formula 3 and moved to Carlin, securing the front of the grid at the inaugural race of the season at Oulton Park before taking 2 poles at Silverstone in Round 2, complementing them with podium finishes. His first Formula 3 win came in Portugal after a dominating qualifying session. He finished the season 4th in the standings, topping it off with a second place finish and a win at Brands Hatch.
Towards the end of 2009, Max raced for Addax in his first outing in a GP2 car before securing a full time drive with the Ocean Racing Technology team for the 2010 season. GP2 has proved a popular and hugely successful breeding ground for future Formula 1 stars with many of today’s elite coming through its ranks, including among others, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
It wasn’t long before Formula 1 came calling and in 2011, having impressed in GP2, Max was selected by the Force India F1 Team to take part in their Young Driver Test at one of the world’s most advanced and impressive tracks at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi.
That same year, Max returned to GP2 with Carlin where he had previously raced in Formula 3. The partnership gained momentum and in 2012, the team received backing from the Marussia F1 Team. Shortly after, Max was celebrating second place in Malaysia and Monaco and an emphatic pole position in Hungary which he converted into his first race win. Another impressive position at the top of the podium came in Singapore on his way to 4th in the final standings and the highest placed British driver. During 2012, he impressed enough with the Marussia F1 Team at their Young Driver Test at Silverstone to be promoted to Reserve Driver.
Heading into 2013, Max became the latest and youngest in a prestigious line of British racing drivers to enter the exclusive world of Formula 1 as he secured his full race seat with Marussia, realising his dream to compete alongside the world’s elite at the pinnacle of racing. He helped them triumph over rivals Caterham in the Constructors Championship and throughout the year, using his uncanny gift of caring for his machinery, was able to set a World Record, finishing 19 of 19 races, the best finishing record for a rookie F1 driver, ever. He also achieved a highest place finish of 14th in Monaco and took the Team to Q2 alongside his teammate at the Belgium Grand Prix, the first time in the Anglo-Russian outfit’s history that it made it out of the first stage of Qualifying.
In January 2014, it was announced that Max was to retain his place with the Marussia F1 Team and take his seat in the new MR-03 Ferrari powered race car for 2014 and continued his impressive finishing record. It was not until his 26th race in Canada that he experienced his first DNF. A turbulent year followed with teammate Jules Bianchi’s terrible crash (Forze Jules!) and Marussia in financial difficulties eventually leading to them missing the final three races of the season.
In 2015 Max joined the ill-fated Nissan Nismo project in the highly acclaimed World Endurance Championship where he sadly had to retire in the 23rd hour of the famous Le Mans 24 hour race. This would be the only event that Nissan would enter in the LMP1 category which although frustrating, provided Max with an opportunity to go to the US and support Carlin as they embarked on their American Indy Car Programme. Max ended up doing three quarters of a full season and picked up 6 podiums, 3 poles, 2 fastest laps and a win at Iowa Speedway on his first even oval course. This win triggered calls from numerous Verizon IndyCar teams and it wasn’t long before Max penned his signature onto a Chip Ganassi contract. He is competing for the Ganassi team for a full IndyCar season and will partner reigning Champion Scott Dixon in the Chevrolet powered outfit.
The 2017 season saw Max demonstrate the progress he had made in the series, again teaming up with Chip Ganassi Racing for his second season. The highlight of the year was 4th place at the 101st Indianapolis 500, with Max leading 50 laps, more than any other driver, to lose the lead with just five laps to go.
At the end of 2017, Max rejoined the Carlin team for their new Verizon IndyCar programme, reunited once again with former Ganassi team mate Charlie Kimball. Using his two seasons of experience in the series and relationship with the team, Max plays a pivotal role in helping single-seater experts Carlin get up to speed quickly in their debut season. Max is proud once again to carry the colours and branding of global insurance brokerage and risk management services firm Gallagher on the No. 59 car in 2018.