Franchitti tips Chilton for top
Dario Franchitti believes British F1 convert Max Chilton has the capacity to surprise his critics as an Indycar rookie this season.
Chilton completed his first test for Chip Ganassi Racing at Sonoma Raceway last week, and described his maiden experience of the Chevrolet-powered Dallara DW12 as “a bit of a shock”.
The ex-marussia F1 driver has turned to America after his stint as a Nissan LMP1 driver ended with the termination of the Japanese marque’s programme.
Indycar legend Franchitti won four titles and three Indianapolis 500 victories during his career in the States and will work with Chilton as part of his role as an advisor with Ganassi.
“He’s got the tools but it’s a steep learning curve,” Franchitti said. “You don’t go from being a rookie to Scott Dixon in six months, it doesn’t work that way. If he’s ever going to achieve, he’ll need time.
“I think he’ll do a good job. I think he’ll surprise people and I’m looking forward to helping him do that.”
Chilton’s limited pre-season programme will also take in a maiden oval run at Fontana before tests at Sebring and Phoenix.
“I was quicker than I thought I would be,” Chilton said of the Sonoma test.