IndyCar racer Callum Ilott will be Alfa Romeo’s F1 backup driver in Miami, replacing Robert Kubica, who is driving in the WEC round at Spa this weekend.
Last season, Ilott, a former member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, served as Alfa’s reserve alongside Kubica and participated in two FP1 sessions in Portugal and Austria. The23-year-old Briton is currently racing full-time with Juncos Hollinger Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series this year.
“Callum is part of the team and he was with us last year,” Alfa team boss Fred Vasseur told Motorsport.com. “He knows perfectly the team. The car not, for sure, but he knows the team and we are all close to him. He did a good job with us in the past.”
Ilott’s appearance in Miami this weekend is a one-time event, but depending on his availability in relation to his IndyCar schedule, the Swiss company may invite him back in the future.
“He’s here race-by-race. He has his own commitments, and I don’t want to disturb him, but the fact that he was here in the U.S. it also made sense for him,” added Vasseur.
“We’ll see in the future, but if sometimes Robert is not available, it absolutely makes sense to go with Callum. We don’t need to have a contract, he’s part of the family.”
Callum said he was glad to be on standby for Alfa Romeo in Miami Grand Prix, especially because he had intended to visit his Formula 1 colleagues this weekend.
“I wanted to come down here anyway. They called me two weeks ago, so it worked out quite well to be able to help out and be here,” Ilott said.
“The last time I drove this car in the sim was probably in the early stages of development. A lot of the systems are very similar to previous years, but obviously, the fundamentals are very different.”
“It’s just nice to be back and see some people I haven’t seen for many months. I was in this environment for a while, in F3 or F2, and I know a lot of people here.”
“So to come back and enjoy some good times with people and be able to kind of be properly involved is great. It’s a bit very refreshing.”