Chilton surprised Manor still surviving

© XPB 

Max Chilton says he is surprised Manor has lasted so long in to the 2015 season after exiting administration.

Having driven for the team as Marussia in 2013 and 2014, Chilton secured a Nissan LMP1 drive after Marussia disappeared from the F1 grid after the Russian Grand Prix last year. The team was revived as Manor for this season, and Chilton told F1i at Le Mans he had no talks over a return but didn’t expect the new team to survive.

“I wasn’t surprised, but I’m surprised how long they’ve lasted,” Chilton said. “I will still wait to see how long that will last. It was a bit of a shock but that was because we weren’t talking to them so I didn’t have a clue where they were positioned.

“They did well to turn it around or at least get things together because I did see John [Booth] at Silverstone in February, two weeks before Australia. Nismo are based in the same building at Silverstone and they were organising things which you can’t believe they were still organising! But they got there to be fair.”

And Chilton says his new project with Nissan is similar in many aspects to the two years trying to help Marussia progress in F1.

“The guys here are working ridiculously hard and the Marussia guys were always working so bloody hard. So there’s definitely that aspect of it, underdogs in my opinion do work a little bit harder. It might not be as efficient as they’re learning their way, but they are definitely putting in as much effort as the others, if not more.

“It would be nice if we can get this really quick in the next two years so I’m a part of that and we can see where we’ve taken it. But it’s good at the moment, every time we get in the car it gets better.”

Click here for the F1 drivers' girlfriends gallery

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter