Max Chilton is hopeful that he will be retained for a second Verizon IndyCar Series season with Chip Ganassi Racing, with negotiations set to begin this month.
The former Marussia Formula 1 driver has a solitary top ten finish in 2016 at the Phoenix International Raceway back in April, but his sponsors Gallagher are believed to be happy with the exposure they’ve received this season.
“Gallagher has been really impressed with the exposure they’ve had, and I’d love to be back with Ganassi,” said Chilton to Racer.com. “The good thing with this season is, it’s so short you can wait until it’s over to get something done. We’ve got time on our hands.
“I’ve really enjoyed the season, and it’s the people that make it. It’s so open, welcoming, and it’s very competitive and makes you thrive to do better. And I think the racing is better than what I’m used to; it’s fairer in that everyone pretty much have the same machinery.”
Chilton admits he does need to work on his oval performances, where, Phoenix aside, he has struggled for performance, particularly on race day.
“My best result was a Phoenix, I out-qualified all my team-mates at Iowa, and I’m happy with my speed, but we just never seem to get it right in the [oval] races,” said Chilton.
“I don’t think I did too bad at the Indy 500, but on the whole, I don’t think I’ve done as good a job as I’ve wanted on the ovals. I’m shocked at some of the moves you have to make – the commitment level – to be competitive.”