Callum Ilott says he’s in a ‘very, superb place’ to maneuver right into a Components 1 seat in 2022, even when he isn’t racing in any single seater class this 12 months.
The British racer is a take a look at driver for Scuderia Ferrari and a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN in 2021 and took to the observe for his first free follow outing for the later earlier this 12 months in Portugal. He’s additionally a member of the fabled Ferrari Driver Academy.
He completed second within the FIA Components 2 championship in 2020 however was compelled to look at as his rivals Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsunoda and Nikita Mazepin made the soar into Components 1 whereas he was compelled to tackle the testing duties in addition to a race marketing campaign within the GT World Problem Europe Endurance Cup.
“Yuki made a fantastic impression in Bahrain – it was actually good to look at, truly,” mentioned Ilott to Motorsport.com. “So from that facet, it was an excellent benchmark to say, ‘look, right here’s what one man can do’. With Mick, everyone knows that he takes a little bit of time to get there. However as soon as he’s there, he will likely be good. And you’ll already see the tempo is getting higher.
“I feel they’re doing an excellent job, and I feel it’s solely a matter of time earlier than the reference is even nearer. And it’s simpler for me to say, ‘effectively, I used to be in the midst of these two guys!’
“I nonetheless assume I’m in a really, superb place. Sure, I’ve to attend a 12 months. I’ve seen folks wait two. The main focus remains to be on doing the most effective job as doable on the GT facet, and the FP1 facet, after which hopefully a possibility could current itself.”
Ilott revealed discussions did happen between Ferrari and a few Components 2 groups about racing within the class for a 3rd consecutive season, however in the long run, it was determined to not return and as a substitute deal with GT racing and his reserve driver duties in Components 1.
“I had discussions, inside Ferrari, throughout the F2 groups,” he mentioned. “However the name was on the late facet of what the state of affairs was for F1. And so by that point, you had numerous the F2 groups already determined, and it’s not really easy to then change groups once more and be in one other unfamiliar atmosphere.
“I completed second within the championship with 5 poles and three wins. I used to be as shut as you have been going to get to successful it – not that you just don’t wish to take that threat. I like to race F2, it was a fantastic format, it’s simply there was just one place higher I may go. And I feel with the three races [in the new format], loads has modified.
“Additionally, as a lot as common driving is vital, which it’s, if you might want to want soar in, I feel there’s one other degree of data that you might want to study from F1 which I wasn’t going to maximise if I used to be doing a full race season in F2.”