Callum Ilott vows to push hard in Sochi, Russia after being overtaken by Mick Schumacher at the top of the FIA Formula Two Championship
Callum Ilott had to settle for a four-point haul in the Tuscan GP as he was overtaken at the top of the FIA Formula Two Championship.
The former Bishop's Stortford College student was third in qualifying in Mugello, Italy, before finishing 12th and sixth in the feature and sprint races respectively.
Ilott, who competes for UNI-Virtuosi Racing, lost places at the start of the feature race before fighting back through the field. He was in contention until a safety car deployment and then contact between other cars left him with damage and he was forced to pit.
He produced a strong drive in the sprint race to claim sixth as he chipped away at the field and produced a few overtakes.
Ilott is now eight points adrift of championship leader Mick Schumacher – son of Formula One legend Michael – who was fifth and fourth, with three rounds remaining.
The next races take place in Sochi, Russia over the weekend of September 25-27.
"I certainly wasn't expecting a top-three result in qualifying as I had traffic on my fast lap but I was able to put together a really good middle sector which was enough to push me up there. All in all, I was really happy with the session in the end and it was a good way to carry the momentum forward from Monza," said Ilott.
"I struggled off the start line in the feature race and lost ground as I dropped to seventh so it became a bit of a recovery drive as the race went on. I was making some really good progress back through as the gap to the leaders began to come down. Then the safety car came out and bunched us all back up again. On the restart, I simply got caught up in the back of the accident ahead and damaged the front end.
"We got it back to the pits and changed the nose but there were only three laps of racing left after the second safety car so I could only make so much progress back to P12. These things happen but it perhaps wasn't the result our pace deserved.
"Starting from P12 for the sprint race, I was confident I could push forwards. It was a tricky getaway again, I lost a few places off the start and dropped back to P16 but was able to make a lot of moves to put myself back in P12 by the end of the first lap. I then just kept chipping away at those ahead and pulled off a few overtakes to climb the order. It was a good drive to get to P6 and bag another four points for the championship.
"A huge thanks to the team once again for all their hard work, we did everything we could and showed some great pace but things just didn't fall our way. We'll be pushing just as hard again in Russia."