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F1 NEWS 

Max Chilton says he relinquished Marussia F1 seat voluntarily

Max Chilton says he relinquished his Marussia Formula 1 race seat to Alexander Rossi for the Belgian Grand Prix voluntarily due to financial issues on the team's side.

Marussia announced on Thursday afternoon at Spa that its recently-signed reserve driver Rossi would replace Chilton alongside Jules Bianchi this weekend.

The team said the move was due to "contractual issues".

Chilton subsequently released a statement through his PR company saying that Marussia was short of funds and he had moved aside so that Rossi could pay for the seat.

"Max Chilton has volunteered to step out of his race seat for this weekend's race in Spa, Belgium, to allow the team to attract much needed funds by selling his seat," read the statement.

"Max will attend the race and be on hand to support the team in any way possible."

The statement indicated that the driver swap was only a temporary measure for Spa.

"Marussia are currently in talks with several new investors and it is expected the situation will be resolved before the next race in the F1 calendar in Monza," it added.

Chilton was in his second full season with Marussia after stepping up from GP2 to F1 with the team last year.

Marussia has declined to specify exactly what the contractual issues are, but they are likely to relate to the non-payment of promised funding from Chilton's backers that secure him the drive.

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