200 days on from when Callum Ilott was due to make his Formula 1 debut, he finally did so yesterday, taking part in the morning free practice session for the Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit, at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo Racing C41. The Englishman had been due to drive the Haas in FP1 in last year’s Eifel Grand Prix, but fog had prevented the medical helicopter from flying which led to the day’s track activity being cancelled by the race director.
Solid job. This season Callum, born in 1998, is a Scuderia Ferrari test driver and is also racing in the GT World Challenge Championship by AWS Endurance Cup at the wheel of the Iron Lynx team’s Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO 2020. Yesterday’s session went smoothly, with 21 laps completed and a best time of 1`21”806.
Comfortable in the car. Callum had this to say after the session: “I was very happy to get out on track here in Portugal,” he said. “The team did everything to allow me to get the most out of this opportunity to drive the C41 and give my feedback to the team to help with the rest of the weekend. This track is not at all easy, but I immediately felt comfortable in the car. Especially on the Hard tyre I got a good feel for the car, while on the Softs I was quite surprised at how much more grip there was. But I soon got the hang of these tyres too and managed to use them properly”.