Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger, IndyCar, 2021

Ilott gets McLaren test call-up as team seeks substitute for Malukas


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McLaren will run Callum Ilott in an IndyCar test this week as it seeks a substitute for injured driver David Malukas.

The team will participate in a three-day test of its hybrid power unit at the Miami Homestead oval starting tomorrow. Ilott will drive for the team on the second day of the test.

Ilott raced in IndyCar for the last two years with Juncos Hollinger, which formed a strategic partnership with McLaren towards the end of last season. He was left without a seat for this season after being replaced by Romain Grosjean.

However McLaren’s new signing Malukas suffered a dislocated left wrist when he came off his bike while training last week. He is expected to miss the opening rounds of the season, which begins at St Petersburg on March 10th.

McLaren says it is still “considering options for its reserve driver line-up” but Ilott’s test indicates he is a prime contender to join Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi at the team for the opening rounds. The two regular drivers will appear for the team in the test on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.

Ilott, who visited the team to conduct a seat fitting last week, sympathised with Malukas. “Obviously I feel sorry for David and the team,” he said. “It’s not easy to be in this position especially just ahead of the start of the season. I wish him the best and a speedy recovery.

“I’m glad I’m able to help out the team, and it’s a privilege to test this week with Arrow McLaren. I’m thankful they’re considering me for the opportunity.”

McLaren team principal Gavin Ward said they hope to confirm their driver line-up for the first race of the season “soon after” the Homestead test. There is a six-week gap between the first two rounds of the IndyCar season, with a non-championship race at the Thermal Club a fortnight after the season begins.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Ilott gets McLaren test call-up as team seeks substitute for Malukas”

  1. Rightly deserved. Hopefully he gets a full time seat with a top team. Get in there Callum

  2. Good to see Illot is on shortlist like this

  3. Tomas Temichele
    20th February 2024, 15:27

    There are far better drivers for the seat

  4. A great opportunity for Callum to get Coyne’s attention for one of the last seats, and get back in to the series full time. Wrestling an IndyCar without power steering will be quite daunting for Malukas when he’s recovered. One would assume he’ll have to wear a wrist brace.

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