Ferrari junior Ilott joins ART for GP3
NEW FERRARI DRIVER ACADEMY recruit Callum Ilott will race for GP3 powerhouse ART Grand Prix in 2018.
Ilott, the first Briton to join the Ferrari scheme, switches from the Formula 3 European Championship, in which he finished fourth this season before winning the qualification race for last month’s Macau Grand Prix.
“Together with the FDA, we made the decision to do GP3 with ART and I’m really happy with this as the first step in our partnership,” said Ilott (below). “ART is a very professional team with a proven track record in GP3 and I’m hugely excited to start working with them. To be selected by ART for one of its much-coveted seats is a privilege.”
ART has just secured a seventh GP3 teams’ title in the championship’s eight-year history, and took a 1-2-3-4 in the 2017 drivers’ standings, which was topped by Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell, with Renault Academy member Jack Aitken and Honda protege Nirei Fukuzumi second and third.
All three are expected to graduate to Formula 2 for 2018. Russell and Aitken are tipped to form the ART line-up, and took part in all three days of last week’s Abu Dhabi test with the team. Fukuzumi drove with Arden, where he looks very likely to race next season.
Alexander Albon, who drove for ART in F2 this season, topped the running at Yas Marina with DAMS, edging Norman Nato in the final session by 0.005 seconds. Louis Deletraz (MP Motorsport) and Arjun Maini (Russian Time) headed two sessions apiece, with Lando Norris (Campos Racing) topping the other period. Aitken set the fastest rookie time over the three days.
MP Motorsport, which has taken over the DAMS GP3 entry ahead of 2018, topped all three days of the third-tier category’s test. Outgoing Red Bull junior Niko Kari was fastest on the opening two days, with Macau Grand Prix star Ferdinand Habsburg quickest on the last. The pair also set the fastest two times overall. ART duo Ilott and Jake Hughes, as well as Campos Racing’s Leonardo Pulcini, also emerged as session toppers over the test.