After announcing that American Alexander Rossi would race for the team in Belgium, the Marussia F1 Team have announced this morning that regular race driver Max Chilton will indeed keep his seat for the race at Spa-Francorchamps, after the contractual issues were apparently sorted out overnight.
Rossi was in the car for the first free practice session in Belgium, setting the twentieth fastest time, but Chilton will resume usual business in the second session this afternoon.
After ‘voluntarily’ stepping aside while the team could secure a much-needed financial boost yesterday, it appears that Chilton’s sponsorship funds have come through for the team in time for him to reassume his position in the team.
It is a blow for Rossi, who had been set to become the first American to race in Formula 1 since Scott Speed back in 2007, but he will be happy to have got some seat time during practice at Spa. His last free practice outing was for his former employees Caterham at Montreal in June.
The bigger issue from all this is the state of the finances at Marussia. It would appear that investment in the team is needed, as it cannot solely rely on the income brought by its drivers. Without an investment, it is hard to see the team progressing up the grid.