Callum Ilott will compete in GT races in 2021 alongside his F1 role, as Ferrari announced eight drivers in their academy line-up.
Having been named as the Ferrari F1 test driver last month after finishing second in F2, Ilott has been now confirmed to compete in selected high-end GT races for the Italian manufacturer in 2021, with the races to be confirmed at a later stage of the year.
Ilott is following on the footsteps of Antonio Giovinazzi, who had a similar work when Charles Leclerc pipped him to a F1 seat. The Italian, who will drive for Alfa Romeo Racing in 2021, remains as the reserve driver for the senior team.
Having worked as the simulator driver for the past two seasons, it looks like Pascal Wehrlein has stepped away as he will race for Porsche in Formula E. For 2021, the Ferrari website only has Antonio Fuoco and Davide Rigon as its simulator driver.
Both are to continue in the role as the team could sign more or have more drivers without officially naming them. They publicly announced Brendon Hartley in 2019 but never did so in 2020, whereas Daniil Kvyat had left them after signing with AlphaTauri.
Returning back to Ilott, the Brit will remain part of the Ferrari driver academy along with Mick Schumacher, who is to race for Haas in 2021 F1 season. The two are not the only ones to continue with the Italian outfit as four others will do so from 2020.
As already known, Robert Shwartzman and Marcus Armstrong will be leading the pack, competing for the second year running in F2 with Prema and DAMS, respectively. Moving up will be Arthur Leclerc from Formula Regional to F3 with Prema, for his rookie year.
The fourth in the lot is Dino Beganovic, who will step up to Formula Regional in 2021 with Prema after competing in Italian F4 in 2020. Among the two new to join in are Maya Weug and James Wharton – both having passed rigorous selection programme to find a spot.
While Weug will race in F4 – possibly Italian and also ADAC, Wharton will have to wait for his single-seater step due to his age, as the Australian will start his Ferrari journey with a karting programme. He will get few tests in the latter half of the season.
The two new joining are replacing the three outgoing members, Giuliano Alesi, Gianluca Petecof and Enzo Fittipaldi. The Frenchman will move to Japan to race in Super Lights with TOM’S, while Enzo will race in Indy Pro 2000 with Andretti and Gianluca in F2 with Campos.
“Today marks the official start of the new season for the Ferrari Driver Academy,” said Mattia Binotto. “It’s an important moment, not just for the eight participants in the 2021 academic year but also for the whole Scuderia. We have always said that the FDA is not just a school that has to help the best youngsters make it to Formula 1, but that above all it must train those that one day will be the standard bearers for Scuderia Ferrari in the top level category of motor racing.
“We achieved that with Charles Leclerc and we are pleased that this year, another driver who grew up with us, Mick Schumacher, will also make his F1 debut. Apart from the well known names of Callum Ilott, Robert Shwartzman, Marcus Armstrong, Arthur Leclerc and Dino Beganovic, listed in order of their ages, I am very pleased to welcome the two new students, Maya Weug and James Wharton, who join the Academy this year.
“Their arrival is important because it also confirms the effort we are putting in when it comes to making motorsport more inclusive. I wish all of them the very best of luck and hope that they will progress and be successful during this season which they should tackle with humility, determination and with a desire to learn, without ever forgetting that they are following their dream.” At the same time, Head of the academy, Marco Matassa, added:
“The start of a new year for us at the Ferrari Driver Academy is always a very special moment. We are pleased to see our drivers again and say welcome to our new intake knowing that we can expect an intense season. In 2020, our drivers got excellent results and that can only spur us on to try and do even better in 2021, because looking for continuous improvement is the basis of Ferrari’s and therefore also the FDA’s philosophy.
“I want to extend a special welcome to our newcomers, James Wharton and Maya Weug, whose arrival signals new frontiers for the Academy. James is actually the winner of the first FDA Scouting World Finals. This event featured six finalists battling it out for a place on our programme, chosen from a large group of very young drivers from around the world, thanks to our collaboration with ACI, Tony Kart, Motorsport Australia and Escuderia Telmex.
“Maya is the first girl to join the FDA through our partnership with the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission’s global programme to find the best young female drivers, a project we really believe in. We can’t wait to start working with all these youngsters to prepare the groundwork for another year of good results.”
Here’s how Callum Ilott, Robert Shwartzman did in F1 Virtual GP
Here’s Carlos Sainz on young pairing with Charles Leclerc
Here’s news on Gianluca Petecof leaving Ferrari
Here’s few of Ferrari academy drivers at Fiorano