Callum Ilott will be one of Alfa Romeo’s reserve drivers this season and drive for the team in FP1 at this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Ferrari junior driver was runner-up in the Formula 2 championship to Mick Schumacher last season, but failed to secure an F1 seat as Alfa Romeo opted for an unchanged driver line-up. However, with regular reserve Robert Kubica also competing in the European Le Mans series and having multiple race and test commitments, Ilott will take on the duties when the Pole is unavailable.
Ilott has previously tested for Alfa Romeo before but his FP1 debut was cancelled due to fog at the Eifel Grand Prix last year. In turn, this Friday at Portimao will be his first outing on a grand prix weekend.
“I am really happy to be joining the team for this season and I’d like to thank Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and the Ferrari Driver Academy for the trust they have put in me,” Ilott said. “The two sessions I had with the team in the last two years have been extremely useful in getting me accustomed to the way a Formula 1 team works and I am confident I can hit the ground running in my new role as one of the reserve drivers at Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN. I can’t wait to be in the car and help the team continue its progress.”
Really excited to finally announce I have joined @alfaromeoracing Orlen as additional reserve driver for 2021!!
Looking forward to start working and also taking part in this weekends FP1. pic.twitter.com/UMS9rmBXxv
— Callum Ilott (@callum_ilott) April 27, 2021
Team principal Frederic Vasseur believes Alfa Romeo will have one of the best young prospects in its car on Friday, with Ferrari having already named Ilott as a test and reserve driver.
“I am delighted to welcome Callum to our team,” Vasseur said. “His journey through the junior series has been an impressive one and he is without doubt one of the most talented young drivers coming through the ranks.”
“He has worked with us before, each time leaving a lasting impression thanks to his work ethic and good feedback, and I have no doubt he will be a very positive addition to Robert Kubica, who will be unavailable on various occasions due to his other racing programs. Callum will have a busy program and we can’t wait to see him on track again this weekend.”