Ilott Crash Ends Promising Debut Test: “I feel I’ve let the team down”

by Paul Hensby

Callum Ilott admitted he felt ‘gutted’ to end his maiden Formula 1 testing run with a crash, with the Ferrari Driver Academy star hitting the barriers at turn three of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Tuesday afternoon.

Ilott, testing for Alfa Romeo Racing, experienced Formula 1 machinery for the very first time on Tuesday and was impressing his team with both his consistency and feedback, only for him to lose control of the C38-Ferrari at turn three, with the damage enough to curtail his day after only forty-one laps in the books.

Nevertheless, Ilott thanked Alfa Romeo for allowing him the opportunity to test with them, and he said the difference between the FIA Formula 2 car he is racing in 2019 compared to the Formula 1 car is immense, but it was not long before he felt comfortable behind the steering wheel.

“I’m absolutely gutted for me and Alfa Romeo Racing and of course I feel I’ve let the team down,” said Ilott, who came into the test on the back of his maiden Formula 2 podium at the same track on Sunday.  “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.”

Alfa Romeo expect to repair the car in time for day two of the test on Wednesday, when regular race driver Kimi Räikkönen takes over the driving duties.

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