Callum Ilott, who many believed deserved a Formula 1 drive this year, has been appointed Alfa Romeo reserve driver with Ferrari Driver Academy support.
The British driver joins veteran Robert Kubica in the support role to Alfa Romeo regular drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
Ilott said of the appointment: “I am really happy to be joining the team for this season and I’d like to thank Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen and the Ferrari Driver Academy for the trust they have put in me.
“The two sessions I had with the team in the last two years have been extremely useful in getting me accustomed to the way a Formula 1 team works
“I am confident I can hit the ground running in my new role as one of the reserve drivers at Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen. I can’t wait to be in the car and help the team continue its progress,” concluded Ilott.
The Swiss-based team reported the news with the following press release:
Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen will welcome one of motorsport’s rising stars to its ranks as Callum Ilott joins the team as second Reserve Driver for the 2021 season.
Ilott, 22, joins a team he knows well, following a first testing appearance in 2019 and a more recent outing at the 2020 post-season test in Abu Dhabi.
Fresh from a season that saw him finish runner-up in the FIA Formula 2 championship with three wins and six podiums to his name, the Ferrari Driver Academy inductee has built a reputation as a quick, consistent and hard-working driver – an attitude and a skillset that greatly impressed the Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen personnel in his first two outings with the team.
Ilott will share reserve driver duties with Robert Kubica in events during which the Pole is unavailable due to his racing and testing commitments in other motorsport categories. He will also take part in a number of FP1 sessions throughout the season, starting this Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix, further enhancing his growing Formula One experience.
Frédéric Vasseur, Alfa Romeo team principal said: “I am delighted to welcome Callum to our team: his journey through the junior series has been an impressive one and he is, without doubt, one of the most talented young drivers coming through the ranks.
“He has worked with us before, each time leaving a lasting impression thanks to his work ethic and good feedback, and I have no doubt he will be a very positive addition to Robert Kubica, who will be unavailable on various occasions due to his other racing programmes.
“Callum will have a busy programme and we can’t wait to see him on track again this weekend,” added Vasseur.