Guenther Steiner says Callum Ilott is currently not on his list of potential drivers for the 2021 Formula 1 season, despite the Briton participating in his first free practice session this weekend in place of Romain Grosjean at the Nürburgring.
However, Steiner, the Team Principal of the Haas F1 Team, says this all could change if the current FIA Formula 2 racer excels behind the wheel as the team continue to evaluate who will race for them next season.
Steiner says Ilott is not on the list because he is backed by Scuderia Ferrari as part of their fabled Ferrari Driver Academy, and it will be their decision where the Briton goes next season, and this is why he is not currently marked as a potential driver for 2021.
“He’s not on the list because he’s a Ferrari driver,” Steiner is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “He’s their driver, so therefore he’s not on the list. I don’t know what they’re doing with him, what they’re planning with him and so on. Therefore at the moment he’s not on the list.
“I have a lot of respect for him because he’s second in the F2 championship which means he’s pretty good. I met him the first time this morning briefly, we’ll have a meeting this afternoon, so I will learn a little bit more about him.
“I’m very honest, he’s not on the list now. Maybe he’s on the list tomorrow, I don’t know that. It will not be depending on the FP1 result. For sure if he does one thing which he shouldn’t be doing, then he’s not on the list for sure anymore, like if he crashes the car.”
Ilott will be joined on track at the Nürburgring by his title rival and fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member Mick Schumacher, who will take the place of Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN for first practice.