Ilott says Silverstone not a reliable F3 form guide

Prema's Callum Ilott feels the opening weekend of the European Formula 3 season at Silverstone may not be a reliable form guide for the year ahead, saying he's "not too worried" about Lando Norris's victory.

Ilott says Silverstone not a reliable F3 form guide
Rookie Podium: first place Lando Norris, Carlin, Dallara F317 - Volkswagen, second place Jehan Daruvala, Carlin, Dallara F317 - Volkswagen , third place Joey Mawson, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F317 – Mercedes-Benz
Callum Ilott, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz
Callum Ilott on the Autosport Stage with Toby Moody
Callum Ilott, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz
Podium: Race winner Lando Norris, Carlin, Dallara F317 – Volkswagen
Callum Ilott, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz
Callum Ilott, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz
Podium: Race winner Joel Eriksson, Motopark, Dallara F317 - Volkswagen, second place Callum Ilott, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz, third place Jake Hughes, Hitech Grand Prix, Dallara F317 – Mercedes-Benz
Lando Norris, Carlin, Dallara F317 - Volkswagen

McLaren junior Norris kicked off the new campaign by winning from pole position in the first race at Silverstone, while Ilott spun off in tricky conditions trying to chase the Carlin driver.

Poor starts meant Norris was unable to fight for wins in the other two races, which were shared between Ilott and Motopark's Joel Eriksson, but a third-place finish in the finale means Norris lies third in the standings, only one point behind llott.

However, Ilott reckons Norris's Silverstone form may not be to last, likening his win to that of another Carlin driver, George Russell - who won at the British track as a F3 rookie in 2015 but couldn't achieve the same for the rest of the season.

"I was a bit surprised by how quick he [Norris] was, but I'm not surprised in a way because back in 2015 George Russell won his first race," Ilott told Motorsport.com.

"He was really quick here, another Brit who did a really good job here, but then you get into the season and you drop off a little bit.

"Also the Volkswagen [engine] was really good in colder conditions compared to warmer. I could be wrong, but I'm not too worried [for the season].

"To be fair to Lando, he drove really well, but I was just as quick. He got Race 1 when I f**ked up, then I was up there fighting with him."

Sitting 12 points behind series leader Eriksson, Ilott remains confident he can push for the title, but expects a stronger challenge from his Prema teammate Maximilian Gunther as the year goes on.

"Obviously Joel last year was quite quick but I know Carlin, they have improved a little bit this year and done a good job but we just have to see," added Ilott.

"I think you can expect more from Maxi obviously, I got slightly more out of this weekend than him.

"I was very confident with this track, I've been here a couple of times, done some testing and one race weekend so I obviously knew it quite well.

"The other ones I also know, I know every track there is in the calendar, but Maxi should be stronger because in testing he was challenging me the whole time and sometimes even quicker.

"I would expect more from him at the tracks where he is confident, but it's still early in the season."

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