Britain’s Callum Ilott joins Ferrari Driver Academy

British driver Callum Ilott has been signed up to join Ferrari’s junior driver development programme in 2018.

The 18-year-old racer from Cambridge has enjoyed a break-through season this year competing in the FIA Euro Formula 3 championship with Prema Powerteam.

He finished the season in fourth place. The title was won by Carlin’s Lando Norris, who is expected to become McLaren’s Formula 1 test and development driver next season.

Ilott was previously part of Red Bull’s junior programme. However, he was dropped in 2015 following a disappointing d├ębut campaign in F3 straight from karting.

That year saw him finish in 12th place overall. However, he went on to take two race wins in 2016 at Paul Ricard and the Red Bull Ring.

This season he has clinched a further six victories at Silverstone, Monza, the Hungaroring, Zandvoort and Hockenheim, as well as an encore win in Austria.

  • McLaren young driver Lando Norris crowned Euro F3 champion

Ilott will be the first British driver to be enrolled at the Ferrari Driver Academy, which supports talented young drivers on their career path in motorsport.

It’s expected that Ilott will move up to either Formula 2 or GP3 next season.

The newly crowned Formula 2 champion, Charles Leclerc, is also a part of the Ferrari programme. He’s strongly linked to a move into F1 next season with a seat at Sauber.

If that happens, Leclerc will potentially oust the Mercedes-backed Pascal Wehrlein from the Grand Prix grid.

Leclerc’s F2 team mate Antonio Fuoco is another driver backed by the Ferrari programme. Ilott’s Prema teammate Guan Yu Zhou and GP3 driver Giuliano Alesi are also part of the line-up.

F4 racers Marcus Armstrong and Enzo Fittipaldi are the remaining current members of the FDA, which previously supported Jules Bianchi on his path to F1.

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