Callum Ilott delivered a home win for his Italian team Prema after a dominant lights to flag victory in the second weekend of the FIA European F3 Championship. In a repeat of his success at Silverstone earlier this month, Ilott’s win came in the final race of the Monza weekend as once again, he had to dig deep to turnaround his fortunes.
Race one had seen Ilott start fourth but early damage to the car after contact left him struggling for straight line speed. Thereafter, Carlin driver Jake Dennis, intent on keeping the team’s opposition behind him, successfully backed Ilott up into the pack of following drivers and into the lower points paying positions that ultimately resulted in a frustrating ninth place.
The weekend’s second race was another epic ‘Monza slipstreamer’ with Ilott again in the thick of the action through the whole race. Starting once more from fourth, Ilott made a good start but jostling saw him drop back and despite securing the fastest lap of the race, Ilott was eventually to finish seventh. A below par performance from the British driver.
The final race of the weekend held on Sunday afternoon in the Italian royal park saw Ilott deliver a performance of character. Starting third on the grid, the 18-year-old made a superb getaway to leapfrog the front row sitters and lead into the first chicane. From there on in, Ilott controlled the race superbly and was never under real pressure in the 35 minute race. The win leaves him in the third spot in the championship standings and in touch with the other race winners from Silverstone and Monza, Joel Eriksson and Lando Norris.
“I’m really happy to get a win here, especially as it’s the home race for Prema,” says Ilott. “We knew we had good pace but I delivered a mixed performance over the weekend and it was important I delivered a strong result in race 3. Looking at the quality of drivers in this year’s Championship I need to maximise opportunities in each race as every point is going to count.”
Ilott’s next event takes him to the technical and challenging street circuit around the French town of Pau on May 20th and 21st.