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Ganassi IndyCar driver Chilton not expecting big results before '18

Ex-Formula 1 driver Max Chilton believes it will take until 2018 for him to become an IndyCar frontrunner with Ganassi

The 25-year-old has just begun his second season in the series, but has just two top-10 finishes to his name from 18 starts, and was only 19th in the 2016 championship.

Chilton said his career trajectory so far suggested that while 2017 would be a season of further progress, breaking through to become a regular frontrunner is still a year away.

"I don't know how long I'll do IndyCar, but I like to have a plan and next year I think will be the year when people say, 'Wow, look at his improvement'," Chilton told Autosport.

"Traditionally, I need three years at something.

"First year, I show speed at certain times, but don't get many results; second year, I show speed and get some results; and third year we're right up there.

"Like in British F3, in my third year I was up at the front, fighting for wins and pole positions with Daniel Ricciardo as my team-mate.

"Third year in GP2, I got a couple of wins and finished fourth in the championship.

"That's just the speed I learn at!"

Chilton raced in F1 with Marussia in 2013/14 before starting his American career in Indy Lights with Carlin the year after.

He said being able to work openly with Ganassi team-mates Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball - who have a combined total of 705 IndyCar/Champ Car starts between them - was helping his learning process.

"They're probably the best team-mates I've had in my career from the point of view of being willing to share data and being completely open," said Chilton.

"It's made clear to everyone that it's a tough branch of the sport, maybe the closest of all from the front of the grid to the back, so to make progress, everyone needs to work together.

"It's certainly nothing like the junior categories where you don't want to share much because your team-mates are your arch-rivals."

Longer-term, Chilton admitted he still had an eye on endurance racing, saying he "always felt that was my strength".

He was part of Nissan's unsuccessful LMP1 project in 2015, while as a 16-year-old in '07 he teamed up with touring car racer brother Tom to finish sixth in the Silverstone Le Mans Series race in an Arena Zytek LMP1 car.

"When I was in Formula 1, journalists would always ask me what my aim was if I didn't continue in F1 and I always said 'Le Mans'," Chilton added.

"That's when the Nissan deal came along and I was very excited but that thing wasn't really a racing car, was it?

"So I'd love to do it again properly."

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