Ilott in "very good position" should F1 opportunity arise

Ferrari youngster Callum Ilott believes he is in a “very good position” to make the step into Formula 1 should an opportunity arise despite not racing single-seaters this year.

Ilott in "very good position" should F1 opportunity arise

Ilott finished as runner-up in Formula 2 last year, but was unable to secure a seat on the F1 grid, instead taking up a test role with Ferrari and becoming Alfa Romeo’s second reserve driver.

The British driver also has racing commitments in sportscars this year, racing for the Ferrari-backed Iron Lynx squad in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup alongside his F1 duties.

Despite seeing F2 peers Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsunoda and Nikita Mazepin all move up, Ilott remains confident he is in a good place to grab an opportunity if one arises, taking confidence from the performance of 2021’s leading rookies.

“Yuki made a great impression in Bahrain - it was really good to watch, actually,” Ilott told Motorsport.com. “So from that side, it was a good benchmark to say, ‘look, here’s what one guy can do’. With Mick, we all know that he takes a bit of time to get there. But once he’s there, he will be good. And you can already see the pace is getting better.

“I think they’re doing a good job, and I think it’s only a matter of time before the reference is even closer. And it’s easier for me to say, ‘well, I was in the middle of these two guys!’

“I still think I’m in a very, very good position. Yes, I have to wait a year. I’ve seen people wait two. The focus is still on doing the best job as possible on the GT side, and the FP1 side, and then hopefully an opportunity may present itself.”

Read Also:

Ilott was handed his first F1 practice outing with Alfa Romeo during the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend, and is due to make his next appearance at Paul Ricard later this month.

Callum Ilott, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Callum Ilott, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

A return for a third season in F2 was evaluated, but Ilott did not feel a lack of regular single-seater driving would hinder him too much if he had to step in.

“I had discussions, within Ferrari, within the F2 teams,” Ilott said. “But the call was on the late side of what the situation was for F1. And so by that time, you had a lot of the F2 teams already decided, and it’s not so easy to then change teams again and be in another unfamiliar environment.

“I finished second in the championship with five poles and three wins. I was as close as you were going to get to winning it - not that you don’t want to take that risk. I love to race F2, it was a great format, it’s just there was only one place better I could go. And I think with the three races [in the new format], a lot has changed.

“Also, as much as regular driving is important, which it is, if you need to need jump in, I think there’s another level of information that you need to learn from F1 which I wasn’t going to maximise if I was doing a full race season in F2.”

#71 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3: Davide Rigon, Antonio Fuoco, Callum Ilott

#71 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3: Davide Rigon, Antonio Fuoco, Callum Ilott

Photo by: SRO

shares
comments

Related video

Aston Martin reunites Thiim, Sorensen for Spa 24 Hours

Previous article

Aston Martin reunites Thiim, Sorensen for Spa 24 Hours

Next article

Tandy, Vanthoor join KCMG for Spa 24h title defence

Tandy, Vanthoor join KCMG for Spa 24h title defence
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021