Callum Ilott, the 2020 FIA Formula 2 runner-up, is hoping Scuderia Ferrari allow him to run in some free practice sessions in 2021 as part of his role as reserve driver for the Maranello-based outfit.
Ilott missed out on a promotion to Formula 1 despite impressing throughout the 2020 season, with three wins coming his way as he finished just fourteen points behind fellow Ferrari Driver Academy racer Mick Schumacher in the final standings.
He took victories at the Red Bull Ring, Silverstone and the Autodromo Nazionale Monza and took the title battle all the way until the final race of the season at the Bahrain International Circuit.
The twenty-two-year-old Briton says it is an ‘amazing privilege’ to be associated with Ferrari, and despite not racing at the highest level in 2021, he hopes to learn a lot in his role that would benefit him in the future.
“It’s an amazing privilege to be associated with Scuderia Ferrari again first of all,” Ilott is quoted as saying by PlanetF1.com on the At The Controls podcast. “It should lead to some exciting opportunities next year which I’m very much looking forward to.
“This is obviously where you want to get to. It’s not the seat, but it’s a prior role which hopefully will teach me everything needed to be a Formula 1 driver. So from that side I’m incredibly excited to firstly announce it and move into the role and learn what I can.
“When I was a kid, the first grand prix I went to was Abu Dhabi in 2009, and on the Friday morning we were quite lucky because a friend of ours worked in Ferrari at the time and I managed to get a view in the garage. And from there it’s just been one of those childhood dreams that’s coming true.
“Becoming part of the Ferrari Driver Academy three years ago, it’s something I wanted to work towards and to be able to now become part of the team is a check off the list and something I’m really proud of.”
Whilst admitting he has yet to be told what his responsibilities will be at Ferrari, Ilott is expecting it to primarily include simulator work, but he hopes to see some on-track action for the Italian team in 2021.
“Still, some of it is in the works, but at the moment it will be some simulator work, potentially some FP1s – but that’s still to be confirmed – and 2018 car running,” said Ilott. “Obviously I will be going to most of the F1 weekends to try and integrate and learn with the team, and see it from that perspective and learn hopefully from Charles [Leclerc] and Carlos [Sainz Jr.].
“And from there see what happens, see what other opportunities come about. But those are the main things really.”