Guenther Steiner, the Team Principal of the Haas F1 Team, says the team will be looking at the consistency and feedback from Callum Ilott during first practice for the Eifel Grand Prix this weekend rather than outright speed.
Ilott, currently sitting second in the FIA Formula 2 Championship behind fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member Mick Schumacher, will take over Romain Grosjean’s car for the first session at the Nürburgring in what will be his first taste of an official session on a Grand Prix weekend.
Ilott does have previous Formula 1 experience in the form of a test with Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN in 2019 and a drive with Scuderia Ferrari in a 2018 SF71-H last week.
Steiner says they will go through a normal programme with the Briton despite it being his first time in the VF-20, but he is not going to put too much pressure on the twenty-one-year-old when it comes to lap time around the German circuit.
“The program will be the same as it would be for one of our regular drivers,” said Steiner. “Maybe we tell him (Callum) to be a little bit more careful when he goes out there as at the moment rain is predicted.
“Otherwise, we just always try and work through our FP1 program and do the best we can knowing that for a driver being in his first weekend session in a Formula 1 car – there’s a lot of pressure, a lot of unknowns.
“We don’t look too much at the time, we’re looking at his consistency and the feedback he can bring to the team. That’s where we judge a driver, not on outright pace, because 90 minutes is not a long time to be sitting in a car like a Formula 1 car.
“We’ll just try to manage that we get feedback and that he gets a good experience with us.”