Max Chilton becomes the fourth Briton on the grid in 2013, and at 21 years of age, is by far the youngest.
Marussia's intention to give the Reigate-born driver his big F1 break was something of an open secret in the closing weeks of the 2012 season but Chilton had to wait until seven days before Christmas for official confirmation that he was now a fully-fledged F1 driver.
Chilton becomes the vastly experienced Timo Glock's fourth different rookie team-mate in as many seasons at the Banbury team and the challenge in 2013 will be to prove that he is the best yet.
Like most young drivers striving to learn their trade, Chilton started his motorsport career in karting, before graduating to the now defunct T-Car Championship for drivers aged 14-17 in 2005.
He finished runner-up in the drivers' standings in his second season but opted to skip the traditional Formula Renault/BMW route and instead jumped straight to British Formula Three with the Arena team, which also ran his brother, Tom, in the British Touring Car Championship.
2008 saw a switch to Hitech Racing and Chilton's first pole position and podium finish in British F3. In 2009 he joined Carlin and took his first victory in the series in the final race of the season at Brands Hatch. He finished fourth in the standings, 104 points behind runaway winner and Carlin team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Chilton moved to GP2 in 2010 with Ocean Racing Technology and scored three points in his debut season. In 2011, Carlin entered GP2 and Chilton switched back to the British squad, finishing 20th in the standings with four points.
But 2012 and year three proved his big breakthrough at that level. With Marussia now backing the Carlin team, results immediately improved and Chilton scored his first ever GP2 podium at the season-opening race in Malaysia. Maiden race victories in Hungary and on the streets of Singapore followed and he finished fourth in the standings with 169 points, pipping fellow young Brit James Calado.
Chilton's increasing racing maturity, and on-track results, led him to test Marussia's F1 car at July's Silverstone Young Driver Test and a strong performance there earned him the team's reserve driver role for the final six grands prix of the season.
A debut practice appearance at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit appeared to provide near-certain confirmation that a 2013 race seat beckoned and Marussia's subsequent mid-December confirmation ensured Chilton could enjoy the ultimate of Merry Christmases.