Barcelona test – Ilott completes 41 laps on Formula 1 debut
Callum Ilott is unlikely to forget the past three days any time soon, for both good and bad reasons. Having secured his first podium finish in Formula 2 on Sunday, this morning, a little before 10am, the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) driver embarked on his first ever laps in a Formula 1 car. However, later on, he also made his first mistake in this type of car, which meant his day came to a premature close.
The good news: British driver Callum Ilott (20), a Sauber Junior, driving F2 for Charouz, who took over the cockpit of the Alfa Romeo Racing C38 for the very first time, is absolutely okay after his big crash in Barcelona today.
The bad news: the car is not!
What a shame for Callum, as he showed a very good performance up until his crash and impressed the team with not only his consistency (normally a rookie has ups and downs) but also his feedback about the car.
More good news: Kimi will be able to continue the test tomorrow.
More bad news: in order to do that, our mechanics (for us the best in the world) will have to put in a night shift.
First run. Callum was driving for the Alfa Romeo Racing team in today’s first day of testing at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit. After an installation lap, the Cambridge born youngster did a first run of 7 laps, improving each time on his way to a time of 1’22”860. Callum quickly adapted to the car working with the engineers on finding the best balance and getting an understanding of the Pirelli tyres, which are quite different to those he is used to in Formula 2. In the morning, the Englishman completed two runs on the C3 compound, then a further two on the C2 tyres, doing a total of 31 laps.
Tricky track. After the lunch-break, Ilott was back in the car doing a further ten, with a best time of 1’19”819. Unfortunately, on his 42nd lap, the 20 year old ended up in the barrier which brought his day to a premature end. The FDA driver’s focus now switches back to Formula 2, as he will be racing in two weekend’s time in Monaco, for the fourth round of the season, driving for the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz Racing.
Callum Ilott (car number 37):
“I’m absolutely gutted for me and Alfa Romeo Racing and of course I feel I’ve let the team down. Up until the crash things were going pretty well and I was enjoying myself delivering the program as planned. The difference between an F2 car and an F1 car is unbelievable when it comes to speed and grip level. Right from the start I felt quite comfortable and could steadily improve the performance, but then I lost it in turn 3 – not exactly the way I imagined my first day in an F1 car to end. Still a great learning experience for me and I’m very grateful to Alfa Romeo Racing for having been given this opportunity.”