Chilton’s Marussia contractual issues disappear overnight

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Back in business: Max Chilton had originally been dropped for the Belgian GP.

Max Chilton has dropped a hint Marussia majority shareholder Andrey Cheglakov played a part in his U-turn reinstatement following words with his management team.

Chilton was axed by the Banbury-based marque on Thursday following what the team described as “contractual issues”.

It was understood the numerous investors behind Chilton had failed to fulfil their financial obligations in recent weeks forcing Marussia to act, replacing the Briton with reserve Alexander Rossi starting with this weekend’s Belgian GP.

Via a statement, Chilton claimed he had “volunteered to step out of his race seat…to allow the team to attract much-needed funds by selling his seat”.

Overnight, though, Marussia stated “a change of circumstance” resulted in Chilton replacing Rossi after the first practice session at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. It is believed Russian billionaire venture capitalist Cheglakov was influential in the decision that saw Chilton return to the cockpit.

Asked whether he had spoken to Cheglakov within the last 48 hours, Chilton said: “People in my management team have, yes.”

Chilton, however, refused to explain the reasons why he was out one day, back in the next. Instead he only further muddied the waters.

Pressed to clarify the situation, Chilton said: “What goes on in an F1 team every day, there are lots of people and lots of things are said, and lots of things progress.

“Lots has gone on. I can’t express what, but it’s not what everyone seems to think has gone on.”

Asked whether it was to do with money, Chilton said: “I’m not going to comment on anything because the moment I comment on that people will start writing it.”

Chilton’s words appeared at odds with the statement that he gave up his seat for the financial good of the team.

“I have to stick by what I’ve already said. What has happened has happened and we have to move on,” added Chilton.

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