Ilott explains ‘wobbly’ helmet buffeting during F1 practice debut

Callum Ilott found helmet buffeting at high speed “a bit uncomfortable” and “wobbly” during Formula 1 practice at Portimao, but felt “very happy” with his debut for Alfa Romeo.

Ilott explains ‘wobbly’ helmet buffeting during F1 practice debut

Last year's F2 runner-up Ilott was announced as Alfa Romeo’s second reserve driver earlier this week ahead of his grand prix weekend debut in opening practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Taking over from Antonio Giovinazzi, Ferrari youngster Ilott completed 21 laps and finished the session 17th overall, lapping four-tenths of a second off Kimi Raikkonen in the sister C41 car.

An onboard video of Ilott’s fastest lap from FP1 showed his helmet bobbing around at the end of the straights.

 

Reigning F3 champion Oscar Piastri tweeted Ilott asking “what’s going on with your head on the straights there chief?”, to which Ilott replied: “Just a tad windy mate.”

Ilott explained after the session that the helmet buffeting did prove to be a bit uncomfortable at times, and put it down to his positioning in the car.

“It was a little bit on the wobbly side, it reminded me of the Churchill’s bulldog!” Ilott said.

“I think it’s quite hard to get the balance, and the helmet is used a lot to redirect the air, and maybe with the position of me, it’s a bit different to Antonio.

“It was only really at top speed where it was doing it. It was a bit uncomfortable, but we’ll make some changes for next time maybe.”

Callum Ilott, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Callum Ilott, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Reflecting on his session, Ilott said that the low grip conditions “caught us out a little bit” in the early part of the session, but he was able to get up to speed and felt happy with how his programme went.

“Once I was up to speed a bit with the tyres and getting used to it, I think I finished the run on the hards one-tenth off of Kimi, which was not bad at the time,” Ilott said.

“Then we went to the softs, and I completely got caught out in the beginning by how much grip and also getting the tyres in. So yeah, I struggled a bit then. But then we came in, rebalanced, and I think with the tyre mileage I had, I didn’t do a bad time.

“Overall I was building the consistency, and was very happy with the session. I got through all the run plan that we needed to, and discovered the limitations that we had as a team and as a driver as well.

“So overall, lots learned from my side, I think lots learned from the team. So yeah, big thanks to Alfa Romeo for giving me the opportunity.”

Read Also:

Asked if there will be future opportunities to drive in F1 practice this year, Ilott said: “I don’t know, it’s up to them.

“Hopefully soon, but I think we’ll have to discuss a bit more and see what happens. It was good to get in early in the year, and hopefully there’ll be opportunities in the future.”

shares
comments

Related video

Alpine "in a position to fight" at Portimao - Ocon
Previous article

Alpine "in a position to fight" at Portimao - Ocon

Next article

Hamilton happy to end Pirelli test reluctance with view to 2022

Hamilton happy to end Pirelli test reluctance with view to 2022
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021