Ferrari Academy driver Callum Ilott will get his first on-track experience of Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo in May’s Barcelona test. The 20-year-old British driver joined Ferrari in 2017 after being dropped from the Red Bull junior programme.
He will spend 2019 in the F2 Championship as part of the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz line-up, but will get his first taste of Formula 1 machinery as he spends a day in the C38 after the Spanish Grand Prix.
Mick Schumacher will drive for the team in Bahrain which fulfills part of the team’s requirement to field two ‘rookie’ drivers across half of its four days of official testing during the season.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Alfa team principal Frederic Vasseur said: “We are very pleased to announce that Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott will each complete a rookie test day for Alfa Romeo Racing: “It is in our team’s DNA to spot and nurture young talents. Mick and Callum are perfect examples of determined and skilled racers who deserve to be given the chance to take the next steps in their careers. Collaborating with two such promising drivers is great news for our team, and we look forward to working together.”
Ilott’s preparations for the move to F2 have been well-supported by the Ferrari Driver Academy, which he joined at the end of 2017. This even extends to off-track affairs. Steps such as linking Ilott up with a local Italian family to help him learn the language and more about the culture have been positive, with the 20-year-old also experiencing a change in mentality.
Ilott has also noted some changes in his on-track approach through his work with Ferrari: “In the first year, it was good to have that support. In F3, I was quick, but It was quite an inconsistent driver, and I think last year I completely changed that around. I was consistent, sometimes quick. Hopefully if I can put that together, that would be key basically. I think they really helped to try and dial something in me. I don’t know how, but it’s paying off in that way. I just need to show that it can work and put it altogether.”