Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says it is obvious why Ferrari rates Callum Ilott highly ahead of his FP1 debut at the Eifel Grand Prix in just over a week’s time.
Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) member Ilott is currently second in the FIA Formula 2 championship standings, 22 points behind leader Mick Schumacher. The top two will both make their FP1 debuts at the next race at the Nurburgring – Schumacher with Alfa Romeo and Ilott with Haas – and Steiner says he has been impressed by the British driver’s performances this year.
“Callum Ilott has clearly demonstrated this season why Ferrari hold him in such high regard,” Steiner said. “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 himself tested for Alfa Romeo in Barcelona last year but has yet to drive for Haas, and he says getting to do so at the Nurburgring is ideal for him as it is a venue he has performed well at before.
“It’s a real privilege to get my first run in a free practice session, especially to do it with Haas F1 Team,” Ilott said. “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 Nurburgring 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.”