Formula 2 championship contender Callum Ilott has announced he will not race in Formula 1 next season, even if he wins the title.
The Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) member is 14 points behind leader Mick Schumacher heading into this weekend’s finale in Bahrain, where F2 will race on the outer circuit. However, despite being lined up for an FP1 appearance for Haas back at the Eifel Grand Prix in October, Ilott says he has not been successful in securing an F1 seat for next season.
“It is time I announce that I have been told I will not be racing F1 in 2021,” Ilott posted on Twitter. “Obviously I have known this for a couple weeks now. I am disappointed, but I will just work harder and do what it takes to make sure it happens in 2022. Anyway, I have a championship I want to win.”
Ilott took eight points out of Schumacher’s lead in the previous round in Bahrain over the weekend, taking pole position – worth four points – and finishing second in the feature race before failing to score after making an error in the sprint. While Nikita Mazepin, Robert Shwartzman and Yuki Tsunoda are all mathematically still in with a chance of the title, it is essentially a two-horse race between the two FDA members.
Regardless of whether Ilott beats Schumacher to the title or not, he will lose out in the F1 fight as the son of seven-time world champion Michael is set to be announced as a Haas driver for next season in the coming days, along with Mazepin in an all-rookie line-up.
Ilott is still going to get to drive F1 machinery this year, however, as he will take part in the Young Driver Test for Alfa Romeo in Abu Dhabi after the final race of the season.