Max Chilton has dismissed suggestions that he owes his place in Formula One to his father's wealth more than his own talent.
His father is a senior player at insurance multinational AON and has not been shy in using his own fortune to boost the chances of his children. Max's older brother Tom has been able to forge a presence in World Touring Cars and now Max has a prestigious F1 seat with Marussia.
"I've had that negativity all my career," Chilton told The Times. "You have to put it behind you, and not focus on it. It is complete rubbish. It's fuel to drive you on to be even better. I put it behind me a long time ago."
Chilton was at pains to point out that he had sold stakes in himself to 30 sponsors to fund his place, and only a few of those were to his family.
"Sometimes, people are a little bit critical and use my father's support as something against me. But ultimately, a Formula One team would never accept you unless you were able to do the job, and I have done that.
He admitted that early on he was aided by his father but in that regard he said he was no different to many other drivers starting out. "F1 was the only time I did not want him to help me. I was adamant. Thirty sponsors got me here. We call it "selling a leg". I am incredibly thankful to them for believing in me. They know I am here to make a return on their investment." ESPNF1