Callum Ilott: “I’m gutted that we couldn’t make the most of the pace we had”


Callum Ilott took race two victory but retired from race three - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Callum Ilott took a commanding victory in race two at Zandvoort to deny Lando Norris a clean sweep of the weekend, with the Prema Powerteam driver dominating from pole position, winning by more than seven seconds.

Having taken a fifth place finish in the opening race of the weekend after being compromised during his best lap in qualifying, which he felt could have seen him take pole position, Ilott was left battling Ferdinand Habsburg throughout the race, and with Zandvoort notoriously difficult to overtake on, he was left frustrated behind the Austrian until the chequered flag.

Having inherited pole position for race two when Norris was handed a grid penalty for insufficiently slowing down in a yellow flag zone, Ilott was untouchable throughout the race, and ended up leading a British driver 1-2-3-4 ahead of Jake Hughes, Norris and Harrison Newey in dominating fashion, despite an early safety car period to recover Pedro Piquet’s stranded car.

“I knew that the restart was important, I pushed as early as I could, accelerating from the last chicane,” said Ilott. “The team gave me a great car and I knew I had the pace to win.”

Race three had seen Ilott start seventh but he soon moved up to fifth, but was forced to pit due to a loose front wing, dropping him out of contention. He returned to the track and set a number of quick laps before retiring in the pits.

“Another strong victory is fantastic but I’m gutted that we couldn’t make the most of the pace we had to get more in Holland,” insisted Ilott. “It’s a mark of how far we have come and how tough this season is that one win isn’t enough both for the championship and for me personally.

“We have however, closed the gap to third in the championship and I won’t give up on my original season goal of winning the championship. Nürburgring is next and as the scene of my first podium, it’s a favourite track of mine. It will be an all-out push to close the gap further.”