Ilott says first Formula 1 test with Alfa Romeo an "alien feeling"

Ferrari Academy driver Callum Ilott says his chance to drive the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 car this week in the post-Spanish Grand Prix test is an "alien feeling"

Ilott says first Formula 1 test with Alfa Romeo an "alien feeling"

Ilott drives for the Sauber Junior Team in Formula 2, but has struggled for budget on his progression through European Formula 3, GP3 and now into Formula 2.

The 20-year-old Briton says his focus is still primarily on performing in F2 this season, but that the F1 test is a "massive opportunity" for the future.

When asked how realistic a career in F1 feels now he has a first test chance, Ilott told Autosport: "This is another step up for me in the opportunities and experience it offers, so there's lot to learn.

"Some of it is quite different, an alien feeling. It's big step.

"I've just got to focus on what I can do and let's see how things develop over the season.

"If I can show I can do a good job in F2 and at the F1 test, who knows, anything can happen.

"It's my first time driving an F1 car but if I can demonstrate I've prepared, I'm consistent and follow the programme, then let's see what happens.

"Testing an F1 car is a massive step in terms of what it can do for me."

Ilott finished third in the GP3 Series last year, behind fellow 2019 F2 graduates Anthoine Hubert and Nikita Mazepin.

His F2 rookie season began with a qualifying crash that hindered his chances in Bahrain, before a hydraulic issue after hitting Jordan King's car in Azerbaijan hampered his weekend there.

But in Spain last weekend Ilott scored his first F2 podium in Sunday's reversed-grid race.

With his Sauber-branded F2 team connected to the Alfa Romeo F1 squad, Ilott believes he is "definitely in the right place" for his future.

"I've got more access to the [Alfa] team and it can also see how I am performing in F2," he added.

"It's still very early in the programme but joining the Sauber Junior Team has always felt like the right move for me.

"But my focus is very much on delivering in F2 this season."

Ilott is getting the chance despite the fact that Alfa Romeo named Juan Manuel Correa its reserve driver this year. The American - who has also scored a podium in F2 - will not test with the team this week.

A host of F2 drivers join Ilott in the F1 test.

Sergio Sette Camara gets his first outing with McLaren, while Mazepin tests with Mercedes, points leader Nicholas Latifi with Williams and Jack Aitken with Renault.

shares
comments
Renault wants recovery 'action plan' from Barcelona Formula 1 test
Previous article

Renault wants recovery 'action plan' from Barcelona Formula 1 test

Next article

Dutch Grand Prix seals return to Formula 1 calendar for 2020

Dutch Grand Prix seals return to Formula 1 calendar for 2020
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022