Callum Ilott, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and a three-time race winner in the 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship, will make his FP1 debut in Formula 1 when he drives the VF-20 for Haas F1 Team during the opening practice session of the Eifel Grand Prix – hosted at the Nürburgring, Germany on October 9.
The 21-year-old from Cambridge, Great Britain is in his second season competing in Formula 2 with UNI-Virtuosi Racing. Ilott graduated full-time into Formula 1’s official feeder series in 2019 finishing 11th overall before mounting this year’s title charge. He currently sits second overall to series leader and fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member Mick Schumacher with two rounds remaining.
The British driver will be behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car this week courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari when he joins Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman on September 30 to test their SF71H car from 2018 at the Fiorano Circuit before joining Haas F1 Team at the Nürburgring the following week. Ilott previously sampled Formula 1 machinery last year at the in-season Barcelona test driving the Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo C38.
“It’s a real privilege to get my first run in a free practice session, especially to do it with Haas F1 Team,” commented Callum Ilott. “It’s amazing to have this chance at a track that is one of my favorites – it was where I scored the first podium of my career back in 2015. The Nürburgring means a lot to me and is a track with a real heritage, so it’s great that I’ll have my first outing at a Formula 1 race weekend there. Thanks to Haas F1 Team and to the Ferrari Driver Academy for giving me such a great opportunity. It should be really fun and exciting. I plan to make the most of it, I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal of Haas F1 Team commented; “Callum Ilott has clearly demonstrated this season why Ferrari hold him in such high regard. He’s demonstrated his outright pace and race craft throughout 2020 with four pole positions and three wins in what’s been undoubtedly another highly competitive season of F2 competition. We are happy to present him with the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car at the Nürburgring.”
Ilott graduated into open-wheel competition in the FIA F3 European Championship in 2015 having enjoyed a decorated karting career. He joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2017 and scored six wins from 11 podiums to finish fourth overall in that season’s F3 European Championship.
Ilott raced in the GP3 Series in 2018 with ART Grand Prix – claiming the top step of the podium twice that season to finish third overall in the points. For 2019 Ilott moved up to the FIA Formula 2 Championship with the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz Racing. Remaining in Formula 2, a switch to UNI-Virtuosi Racing followed in 2020 – a campaign that has so far netted Ilott three wins (R1 Austria - Feature, R5 Great Britain – Sprint, R8 Italy – Sprint) and two additional podium appearances.