Ferrari F1 tester Ilott set for GT programme in 2021

Ferrari Formula 1 test driver Callum Ilott is set to embark on a GT racing programme in 2021 that will see him appear in a number of undisclosed sportscar races

Ferrari F1 tester Ilott set for GT programme in 2021

Ilott finished as runner-up in last year's Formula 2 championship behind fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member Mick Schumacher, but confirmed he would not be returning to the category.

Ferrari announced in December that Ilott would serve as its test driver in 2021, and is due to make some F1 free practice appearances this year.

Six of the eight Ferrari Driver Academy members were present at Maranello this morning for the official start of its 2021 programme, with Ferrari confirming further plans for its members.

As part of the announcement, Ferrari said that Ilott will be "on the scene and present at several races" in F1 this year, before revealing he was also in line for some sportscar appearances.

"The youngster from Cambridge will still enjoy the thrill of racing as he will also be taking part in a GT programme, at the wheel of a Ferrari for some of the most famous sports car races," Ferrari stated.

Ilott has not previously raced in sportscars, but would not be the first youngster with Ferrari support to dip his toe into GT racing. Antonio Giovinazzi joined the AF Corse line-up in GTE-Pro for the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours before making his full-time move into F1 one year later with Alfa Romeo.

Ferrari has already announced its four full-season drivers for the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, although a third seat in its #51 entry is still vacant for Le Mans

Ferrari will retain a presence in F2 through Robert Shwartzman and Marcus Armstrong, both of whom are returning for their second seasons in the category.

Shwartzman has been set a "clear goal to win the title" with Prema, while Armstrong has switched to DAMS and is "more determined than ever to be a front runner".

Arthur Leclerc - the younger brother of Ferrari F1 driver Charles - will move into FIA Formula 3 this year, while Dino Beganovic has moved into the Formula Regional championship for 2021.

Maya Weug and James Wharton have both joined the FDA for this year. Weug was selected after winning the FIA Girls on Track programme, and will race in F4, while Australian Wharton will remain in karting ahead of a future move into single-seaters.

"We have always said that the FDA is not just a school that has to help the best youngsters make it to Formula 1, but that above all it must train those that one day will be the standard bearers for Scuderia Ferrari in the top level category of motor racing," said Ferrari F1 team principal Mattia Binotto.

"We achieved that with Charles Leclerc and we are pleased that this year, another driver who grew up with us, Mick Schumacher, will also make his F1 debut.

"Apart from the well known names of Callum, Robert, Marcus, Arthur and Dino, listed in order of their ages, I am very pleased to welcome the two new students, Maya Weug and James Wharton, who join the Academy this year. Their arrival is important because it also confirms the effort we are putting in when it comes to making motorsport more inclusive.

"I wish all of them the very best of luck and hope that they will progress and be successful during this season which they should tackle with humility, determination and with a desire to learn, without ever forgetting that they are following their dream."

Ferrari has also confirmed the exit of Enzo Fittipaldi from its European-based programme following his move to the United States for 2021, where he will race in Indy Pro 2000.

The grandson of two-time world champion Emerson, 19-year-old Fittipaldi managed a best finish of fourth in the FIA Formula 3 championship last year with HWA.

"I have no words to say how grateful I am for all the support that the Ferrari Driver Academy has provided me in the last four years," he said.

"I will take all this learning with me and I want to thank each team member for helping me to develop as a driver and person."

shares
comments
Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers
Previous article

Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers

Next article

Dumbreck steps down from Falken Nurburgring 24 roster after 14 years

Dumbreck steps down from Falken Nurburgring 24 roster after 14 years
Load comments
The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership Plus

The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership

This weekend’s British GT finale will be a tense title showdown for some but, for those not in the championship fight, it’s a chance to end a challenging year on a high. In the latter camp is Paddock Motorsport's team owner Martin Plowman, whose 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride of non-stop learning

National
Oct 15, 2021
The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion Plus

The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion

It has won most of the big prizes in endurance racing across its six years in service, but the BMW M6 GT3's key weaknesses meant only a devoted few teams persisted with running it. As it prepares to bow out at season's end, the teams and drivers involved in its story share the secrets of an unpopular winner

GT
Oct 7, 2021
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021
The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story Plus

The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story

The manufacturers were unconvinced – and even hostile – when Stephane Ratel launched GT3 in 2006. Now, 15 years on from its debut, they’ve sold more than 2000 cars and counting, but its continued expansion puts the increasingly globalised category at risk of losing its roots

GT
May 25, 2021
The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT Plus

The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT

With the Silver pairings that dominated 2020 now banned, Mercedes pair Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie could be in the box seat after winning last year's Pro-Am crown. But a swarm of Lamborghinis, with the defending outright champion among them, will ensure they face tough opposition

GT
May 21, 2021