Frederic Vasseur said that Callum Ilott will make another appearance with Alfa Romeo at the French Grand Prix.
This weekend, the former Formula 2 driver drove for Alfa Romeo in the FP1 of the Portuguese GP, replacing Antonio Giovinazzi. He did that since he is the second reserve driver for Alfa Romeo and Robert Kubica, who is the first reserve driver, is not available since he also races in other series.
Ilott concluded Friday’s session in P17, not too far off Kimi Raikkonen. After his first appearance with the team this season, Vasseur said that Ilott will drive again in June at the Paul Ricard circuit.
“We have a good relationship with Callum,” Vasseur said.
“He’s confident with the team, the relationship is good. He was quite relaxed in the car. I appreciate the session.
“It was the first one, he will probably drive also the car in FP1 [again], the next one will be France, it will be probably much easier for him.
“You know that we want to do a couple of FP1s during the season. I didn’t pay too much attention to the first one. It was like a warm-up.
“The next couple of FP1s will be on tracks that also he knows much more. We won’t burn the first two or three laps of the session to test the track, and it will be much easier.
“But honestly, it went very well this morning.”
It is not the first time that Alfa Romeo gives the chance to young drivers to drive a Formula 1 car since they also did that with Charles Leclerc in 2017 and with Antonio Giovinazzi in 2018.
Moreover, Vasseur believes that what Ilott did was even more difficult since he had less time in FP1 after the session has been shortened by 30 minutes this year.
“It’s even more difficult than it was in the past,” Vasseur said.
“If you remember, in the past, we did the same exercise with Charles in 2017. Even with Antonio in ’18, it was always very challenging for them. Now this season, it’s even more difficult, because you have only one hour.
“It means that the first stint is a bit shorter, and you have two or three laps in the first stint, very often just one lap or two laps in the second stint to demonstrate that you are on the pace.
“Before the session, everybody thought OK, you have no mistakes, no pressure, you can take it not easy, but do your job.
“But then at the end, everybody is focused on the lap time, they know perfectly the situation.
“For sure, you look stupid if you crash the car, but you can look stupid if you are too slow. The exercise is very, very difficult.”