Callum Ilott is not currently on Haas’ shortlist for a race seat in 2021 despite his FP1 appearance at the Eifel Grand Prix.
The Ferrari Driver Academy member is second in the Formula 2 championship and will make his FP1 debut at the Nurburgring with what will be his first Haas appearance. While Guenther Steiner has previously spoken of a shortlist of 10 drivers for 2021 – with both seats still currently available – the Haas team principal says Ilott isn’t one of those names at this stage.
“If we would decide on a single FP1 to put somebody in the car, that would be a little bit challenging for me,” Steiner said. “He’s not on the list because he’s a Ferrari driver and he’s their driver, so therefore he’s not on the list. I don’t know what they are doing with him, what their plans are for him, so at the moment he’s not on the list.
“I have a lot of respect for him because he’s second in the F2 championship, which means he’s pretty good. Being very honest, he’s not on the list now, but maybe he’s on the list tomorrow. But it will not be dependent on the FP1 result. For sure if he does one thing that he shouldn’t be doing then he wouldn’t be on the list anymore, like if he crashes the car.”
Despite his reservations about Ilott at this stage, Steiner admits he is more likely to sign a Ferrari young driver for next season than he has been in the past due to the quality available, as F2 championship leader Mick Schumacher and rookie Robert Shwartzman are also in the mix.
“Absolutely,” he said. “They (Ferrari) are in the fortunate position to have three good ones. They put themselves in that position by investing in the right guys. For sure, being aligned in the engine with them, if you want drivers, we will talk with them first. But they put themselves in that position, there is nothing that goes beyond the collaboration on the engine side.
“Also in F2 there are other good drivers, and teams have the same issue of where to put the people. I think Ferrari has got that issue because they have got three very good ones, all of which are in the top five in F2. I don’t know how they are going to solve that problem, but thank God it’s not my problem.”