2020 F2 title runner-up Ilott won't return to series next year

Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott says he won't be returning to the championship for a third season next year, despite appearing for Charouz at last week's post-season test

2020 F2 title runner-up Ilott won't return to series next year

The Briton finished 14 points shy of fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member Mick Schumacher, who will step up to Formula 1 next year with Haas, after a season in which he scored more wins (three to two) and pole positions (five to zero) than Schumacher but lacked the German's consistency.

A costly spin in the second of the four Silverstone races while well placed led to a non-finish, while contact in the Mugello feature and Bahrain sprint races allowed Schumacher to stretch his advantage.

An enforced pitstop for the Prema driver in the Sakhir finale presented an opportunity for Ilott to mount an attack on the top-two place he needed to overhaul his rival in the championship, but the UNI-Virtuosi driver's overworked tyres meant he was powerless to avoid slipping back to an eventual 10th as a relieved Schumacher claimed the title in 18th.

Speaking to the series' website, Ilott explained that he has nothing left to prove by returning for a third F2 campaign in 2021 and expects to take a third-driver role in F1 with a Ferrari-affiliated team.

"Part of me would love to do [F2] again," he said.

"But second is only one place lower and I only missed out by 14 points.

"I could always give reasons why, but I don't want to give excuses. I feel like if you are in the top three or top two, you shouldn't have to prove yourself again.

"You have got to strive for the top and that's my new challenge.

"It is not going to be easy, but I have got time to do it.

"More than likely, I will be in the F1 paddock for almost all of the races, so if someone is ill or has an injury - which, touch wood, doesn't happen - then I am sure that I would get a call at some stage, but I don't wish that on anyone."

Reflecting on his highlights of the year, Ilott identified his charge from a dummy-grid stall to fifth in the first Silverstone weekend as a "hero moment" on a par with his dominant feature race victory at the same track the following week.

"The two moments that stand out the most for me are the two races in Silverstone, at home," he said.

"Going from the pitlane to P5 was, in my eyes, kind of like a hero moment where I showed everyone what I could do and the pace that I have - the stall aside.

"Then, being able to come back a week later and dominate the Feature Race, that's something that I'll remember for a long time."

shares
comments
Red Bull junior Vips to race in Formula 2 next year

Previous article

Red Bull junior Vips to race in Formula 2 next year

Next article

Zendeli steps up to F2 with MP Motorsport for 2021

Zendeli steps up to F2 with MP Motorsport for 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series FIA F2
Author James Newbold
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Plus

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Plus

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance Plus

How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021

FIA F2
Jan 9, 2021
The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make Plus

The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make

The Ferrari Driver Academy earned a podium sweep in the first Formula 2 race of the new decade in Austria last weekend. The battle between 'the FDA five' is set to be one of the major subplots of the season, but who has the best F1 prospects for 2021?

FIA F2
Jul 8, 2020
The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong Plus

The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong

Dropped by his team in Japan and by Red Bull, Dan Ticktum's single-seater career seemed to be over last summer. But now he's on the Formula 2 grid with the reigning champion team, and he's a new protege of Williams. How did that happen?

FIA F2
Mar 20, 2020
The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe Plus

The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe

OPINION: In the latest in our series of features looking back the recently concluded 2010s, we recall one of the many sagas of the 2018 Formula 2 season, which featured unusual fines and an unsavoury clash between team-mates

FIA F2
Jan 3, 2020
The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status Plus

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status

In the latest feature in our series looking back on the 2010s, we revisit Charles Leclerc's sensational Formula 2 season - where he strode among on-track highs and lows, as well as tragedy away from motorsport, to earn a place on the Formula 1 grid

FIA F2
Dec 26, 2019
Why F1 is no longer ignoring its feeder series Plus

Why F1 is no longer ignoring its feeder series

After the MotoGP-style Formula 1 support ladder was fully united for 2019, Bruno Michel and Ross Brawn share their views on the current state of Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 and explain why investment at junior levels should boost the top tier

FIA F2
Dec 13, 2019