FIA European F3 front-runner Callum Ilott will make his FIA Formula 2 race debut on home soil at Silverstone this weekend. The one-off arrangement will see the 18-year-old drive for Italian team Trident at the British GP track, the scene of Ilott’s first 2017 F3 victory back in April.
With the contract only signed on Tuesday afternoon, Ilott heads directly to the track today for a seat fitting before his first run in the opening practice on Thursday. “I’m really happy to make my F2 race debut, especially at the British Grand Prix, competing in front of the famous home crowd that so many drivers have described as a special and unique experience,” says Ilott. “It’s a great opportunity to get a chance to race in a category I have definitely got my eye on for the future. The opportunity has come together late so we had no chance to get on the sim or spend much time with the engineers unfortunately. Nonetheless, I still want to make the most of the weekend aiming to do a good job in qualifying use the races to get useful experience of the different tyres, and gain a good understanding of tyre management, an element that makes a big difference in the category.”
Trident team boss Giacomo Ricci is equally excited about the prospect of running Ilott in his home race. “We are honoured to have Callum on board,” says Ricci. “He is one of the most talented drivers and despite not having any opportunity to test ahead of the event, I’m sure he will be impressive out there.”
The deal comes with the full blessing of Ilott’s F3 team principal René Roisin at Prema Powerteam with which he will continue to challenge for the F3 title for the remainder of the year. “I’d really like to thank René and Prema for enabling me to race this weekend,” continues Ilott. “They know and understand I just want to drive racing cars and they could see the value in getting some F2 seat time this year, especially after spending time at Monaco with the Prema F2 outfit. From doing the test at Abu Dhabi the end of last year I know just how good and quick the F2 car is to drive so I can’t wait to get out there, enjoy learning about the car and do a good job for the team.”
Race 1 is at 1500 on Saturday with Race 2 at 0920 on Sunday morning ahead of the 2017 FIA Formula British Grand Prix.