After missing out on what would have been his maiden free practice run with the Haas F1 Team at the Nürburgring earlier this year, Callum Ilott finally got the chance to drive a 2020 Formula 1 car earlier this week, with the Briton testing with Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN in Abu Dhabi.
The Ferrari Driver Academy star, who will step up to the role of test and reserve driver for Scuderia Ferrari in 2021, completed eighty-three laps of the Yas Marina Circuit on Tuesday, finishing eighth fastest overall.
Ilott, who will not return to the FIA Formula 2 championship for a third season in 2021, said it was an enjoyable day behind the wheel of the C39-Ferrari, and he hopes for more opportunities to drive for the team in the future.
“It’s been an amazing day, driving an incredible car,” said Ilott. “I am thankful to Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and the Ferrari Driver Academy for the opportunity to drive today.
“We completed 93 laps, some good mileage and a busy day for the team. From my personal point of view, I’ve really enjoyed it: it took a lot of focus to keep performing at this level, in such a powerful car, but it’s been really good and I hope to get more opportunities to drive this car in the future.”
Ilott was joined on track by regular Alfa Romeo test driver Robert Kubica, with the Pole ending up fourth fastest having completed eighty-nine laps.
After running a handful of free practice sessions throughout 2020, Kubica said it was nice to have time to get into a rhythm during the one-day test that brought an end to the season.
“It’s always good to spend time driving this car, especially having the opportunity to do a full day of testing,” said Kubica. “It’s crucial to get a good feeling with the car, get into a rhythm, and having from morning to evening today really allowed me to get in this zone and do a good job.
“Now a long and intense season finally comes to an end: I’d like to thank all the guys and girls at Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN for the work they have put in all year, it’s been an incredible job.”