Multiple F3 race winner lands arguably one of the most coveted seats in F3
British racing driver Callum Ilott has signed for PREMA Powerteam to compete in the 2017 FIA F3 European championship. After considering offers including GP3 and GP2, Ilott has been selected by PREMA to strengthen its challenge for a record-breaking seventh consecutive F3 title in 2017.
Possibly the most coveted driving seat in the F3 paddock, Ilott’s securing of the top spot reinforces his reputation as one of the most promising young drivers. “We looked at all the possibilities for 2017; GP3, Indy Lights as well as GP2 but in the end with only two years of car racing experience, another year in F3 made the most sense,” says Ilott. “From my F3 discussions, it is clear that all the teams are working incredibly hard to win the 2017 Championship but PREMA’s record is impeccable, and having decided to return to F3, it is the logical team for me to join.”
For PREMA, having dominated the category in 2016, Ilott was an obvious candidate for selection after achieving multiple wins and poles, while consistently out-qualifying and outperforming all of his 2016 VAR team mates. “I am thrilled to be able to collaborate with Callum for the next European Formula 3 season,” says PREMA’s team principal René Rosin. “As he was one of our main competitors in the last couple of years we got to know him well and follow his progress as he became one of the benchmark drivers in the championship. More than once, he showed outstanding natural car control skills that helped him excel, especially in challenging conditions such as we saw in Macau last weekend. Working with him will be exciting and we are really looking forward to getting started.”
Along with the on track performance Ilott believes that the PREMA environment is one he can thrive upon. “I spent a lot of time in my karting career in Italy, it’s a country I love,” adds Ilott. “Just walking around the PREMA factory, the ‘family feeling’ you get with the Italian teams came flooding back. With its successful GP2 squad, I think it’s also a team that offers the chance to climb the ladder to F1.”
In moving from Van Amersfoort Racing, Ilott is appreciative of his time with the Dutch team. “I’d like to thank VAR for everything they did for me in 2016. They enabled me to get my first wins in cars, something I’ll never forget. Frits and the guys helped me to improve and become a better F3 driver. Now it’s time to take that knowledge and aim for the championship in 2017.”
Originally founded in 1983 by Angelo Rosin and Giorgio Piccolo, PREMA Powerteam is one of Europe’s leading international race teams and is the largest Italian motorsport team outside of F1. “PREMA has a full test programme that will see us out before the F3 testing ban comes into effect,” adds Ilott. “The demand for places at PREMA means team mates will no doubt some of my strongest competitors but PREMA has shown it can manage multiple cars and drivers successfully so we can all push together to create some new records in the category.”