Callum Ilott, Nurburgring, 2020

Ilott not on Haas’s driver shortlist now ‘but maybe he is tomorrow’ – Steiner

2020 Eifel Grand Prix

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Callum Ilott is not on Haas’s shortlist for an F1 drive in 2021, but could be after his practice run for them on Friday, says team principal Guenther Steiner.

The 21-year-old, who is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, will have his first run in an official F1 practice session tomorrow. Steiner, who previously revealed he is considering almost 10 different drivers for their 2021 line-up, said Ilott is not on their shortlist “at the moment”.

“He’s not on the list because he’s a Ferrari driver,” Steiner explained. “I don’t know what they are doing with him, what they are planning for him and so on. So in the moment therefore he is not on the list.

“But I have a lot of respect for him because he’s second in the F2 championship which means he’s pretty good. I met him the first time this morning very briefly, we’ve got a meeting this afternoon so I will learn a little bit more about him.

“But therefore I said, I was very honest, he’s not on the list now, maybe he’s on the list tomorrow.”

However Steiner stressed he will not use Ilott’s pace in practice to judge whether he deserves a race seat next year.

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“It will not be depending on the first practice result,” he said. “For sure if he does one thing which he shouldn’t be doing, then he’s not on the list, for sure, any more, like if he crashes the car.

“I don’t think tomorrow is about him getting in there,” he added. “Tomorrow for us is actually trying to get something out of him to see how he works. And then he’s a Ferrari driver so I don’t know the plans, what they have with him for the future.”

“What I want to avoid is that he tries to impress us,” said Steiner. “That is one of the tasks because when they try to impress you they normally disappoint you because they do something which is not good.

“So what we are going to speak with him this afternoon, with the race engineers, is what we want out of his test is consistent feedback of what he feels what we are doing and not a fast time. Because it’s always difficult, it’s a lot of pressure, one-and-a-half hours.

“He was in an F1 car before, so he knows it, but it was quite a while ago now. The most impressive thing he can do is not to do anything stupid.”

Steiner confirmed the team has not discussed with Ferrari the possibility of giving Ilott a seat for 2021. “We discussed to get him into FP1 but we didn’t discuss anything further than that,” he said.

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5 comments on “Ilott not on Haas’s driver shortlist now ‘but maybe he is tomorrow’ – Steiner”

  1. I don’t see any reason for Haas to continue with Grosjean. He supposedly is good at identifying issues with the car, but they haven’t gone forwards in 2 years whatsoever. Plus, as 2018 proved, even if Haas rectify all their issues and build a decent car once more, Grosjean will still hold them back. So if I were Haas, either you bring in a driver who is a definite upgrade on Grosjean (Hulk, Perez) and can extract more from the car, or you give a chance to a young gun like Illot, who can potentially become a star for them like Leclerc for Sauber or Russell for Williams. If Haas pick Grosjean once more, it’ll say a lot about their ambitions as a team. Ideally, they would sign someone like Hulk or Perez and fit them alongside Illot, but that would be too sensible for them.

  2. Some high quality deflection there by Gunther. I can’t imagine a “shortlist of 10 drivers” not including Ilott, Mick S, and Robert S.

    A Ferrari backed driver with youth, speed, and the buzz and sponsorship $$$ that comes with it? No, can’t be having any of that…

  3. I love how after all these years with Grosjean and Magnussen, all Gunther can think is “please don’t do anything stupid”. He already has enough drivers doing that :)

  4. “He’s not on the list because he’s a Ferrari driver,”

    I stopped there. Isn’t Ferrari picking or pushing some drivers into Haas and Alfa? Those test runs being the proof of it.

    1. @jeanrien perhaps if you hadn’t stopped there you would’ve seen the answer to your question in the article.

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