Max Chilton - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service

Chilton drives away from the pits after what he described as 'a perfect stop' by the Carlin team - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service

Max Chilton was pleased after scoring a first GP2 Series podium finish for both himself and the Carlin team in the first race of the 2012 season in Malaysia.

The British driver started the race third on the grid and although he lost a couple of places at the start he regained ground during the pitstops to finish the race on the third step of the podium.

“I had a good start but I got held back by Valsecchi and when I had to go around him, I got passed by a couple of cars,” he said.

“Our pace was pretty good; I caught Coletti and Leimer when their tyres started to drop off around lap seven, and then they pitted which gave me some space. The team did a perfect stop which put me out ahead of Leimer, but he was really close and at no point from then on could I relax. I couldn't quite manage to pull away.

“It's a relief to have finished a race without incident to be honest! I feel now like we can do this again and build up a consistent start to the season. It's a great result for the team.”

Chilton's teammate Rio Haryanto made up a number of places during his first championship race to finish 12th on a good day for the team.

“Third place was a great effort by Max who drove a perfect race, said Trevor Carlin. He was boxed in at the start, but he attacked well, defended well and the team gave him a great pit stop.

“Rio was getting quicker and quicker throughout the race. He overtook some very experience drivers and stayed calm in the car; he's really impressed the team in his first race with us. We've had great winter preparation and this has been backed up with a very competitive podium finish today.”