Ferrari junior Ilott joins dominant GP3 team ART
Ferrari junior driver Callum Ilott will race for the powerhouse ART Grand Prix squad in GP3 in 2018.
Ilott, who joined the Ferrari Academy set-up in October, will switch from the Formula 3 European championship where he has raced for the last three seasons.
The 19-year-old won the qualification race at last month’s Macau Grand Prix and scored six wins and 10 pole positions during the 2017 Euro F3 season.
Ilott took part in all three days of the post-season GP3 test in Abu Dhabi last week for ART.
“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,” Ilott said.
“ART is a very professional team with a proven track record in GP3 and I am hugely excited to start working with them.
“To be selected by ART for one of its much-coveted seats is a real privilege.
“I am really looking forward to a new car, new tracks and new challenges and showing ART what I can do."
ART has secured seven out of eight GP3 teams’ titles since the third-tier category was established in 2010, and five of its racers have taken the drivers’ championship.
In 2017, the French squad recorded a 1-2-3-4 in the drivers’ standings, with Mercedes F1 junior George Russell winning the crown ahead of Jack Aitken, Nirei Fukuzumi and Anthoine Hubert.
“I am really happy to welcome Callum in the team,” said ART president Sebastien Philippe.
“He [has] showed during his young career that he has a very interesting potential.
“We have no doubt at all that he has all the assets needed to fight for the title in 2018.”
Ilott, a multiple karting champion before stepping up to Euro F3 with Carlin in 2015, was a Red Bull junior that season.
After leaving the Red Bull programme, he switched to Van Amersfoort Racing for 2016 – scoring two wins – and then joined Prema Powerteam for ’17, where he took a further six wins and finished fourth in the points standings.
Ilott is the first Briton to join the Ferrari Academy set-up, which in 2017 included Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc, F2 race-winner Antonio Fuoco, F3 racer Guan Yu Zhou, ’17 Italian Formula 4 champion Marcus Armstrong and his Prema F4 teammate Enzo Fittipaldi.
Nikita Mazepin and Jake Hughes are expected to join Ilott at ART next season, while Gabriel Aubry and Tatiana Calderon also tested for the team at the Yas Marina circuit last week.
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