Wednesday, June 22 2022

Callum Ilott thinks it would be an “injustice” if Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri were left driverless in Formula 1 in 2023.

Piastri became only the third driver to win the Formula 3/GP3 championship and the Formula 2/GP2 championship in consecutive seasons in 2021, after Charles Leclerc and George Russell, but he will be on the sidelines of F1 in 2022 as an Alpine reserve driver. .

The 20-year-old Australian missed out on an Alfa Romeo seat to Guanyu Zhou – who finished third in Formula 2 last year – for this season, and he doesn’t have to race in any series in 2022 to focus entirely on his Alpine functions.

Piastri himself admitted he would be “quite annoyed” to miss out on a place in 2023, and Ilott, himself a 2020 Formula 2 runner-up, thinks it wouldn’t reflect well the junior single-seater path if a Australian driver talent is not rewarded with driving in F1.

“From stories in the past, I believe similar things happened in the sense that the young guys didn’t survive and you still believe it’s not going to happen to you, and at the end of the day, the life is like that,” Ilott said. , quoted by Motorsport Week.

“But with Oscar it’s a bit different in the sense that there was no availability for the support package he had for this year, so I wasn’t surprised in that sense.

“What would be a surprise is if at the end of this year he doesn’t have a seat for the following year because you can have a gap year, as we’ve seen with many drivers. , but if he doesn’t have one by the end of the year, I’d be very surprised.

“It would be an injustice to the junior formula and the single-seater ladder that we have.”

On a personal note, Ilott will be taking a year off from the Ferrari Driver Academy to take up a full-time seat in IndyCar in 2022, with Juncos Hollinger Racing.

He took part in two free practice sessions for Alfa Romeo last season, but a full-time Formula 1 opportunity has yet to open up for the 23-year-old Englishman.

He spoke thoughtfully about the difficulty of becoming a Formula 1 driver, given the number of factors at play for a driver to have the opportunity – and he admitted it was a “very process of discovery”. lonely” for him because it happened in front of him.

Despite this, he is looking forward to the opportunity to show his talent in the United States in 2022.

“There are 20 places [in F1], and most of them are filled by the guys who have proven themselves [themselves] and I won that seat for a long time, and at the end of the day, it’s expensive,” Ilott said.

“It’s expensive for the teams. It’s expensive for the sponsors. You have to adapt to this package, and yes, unfortunately, it doesn’t always work.

“It’s an individual sport in the way it works, and unfortunately for young people…for me it was a very lonely process of finding out how the world works.

“IndyCar is a fresh start for me and a great opportunity, so yeah, that’s how I want to see it, and I think to be fair to me, hopefully I’ll have a really good career. here.”

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