James Calado thankful for test opportunity

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British youngster James Calado has thanked Force India for giving him a chance to test at Silverstone this week following two strong days of running.

The GP2 driver finished in 6th place today, but he has admitted that it was a big step up from his regular series which supports some of the rounds on the F1 calendar.

“It has been fantastic to get an opportunity to drive this week,” Calado said in a team statement. “It’s another world compared to what I am used to with so much to learn and so many names to remember!

“Yesterday was more about getting comfortable with the car and today I was able to do a bigger programme with some aero work. The team also gave me the chance to try some pit stop practice, which was good experience.”

Calado also explained how proud he was to drive a Formula One car at Silverstone, with the track being focal for British interest in the sport ever since 1950.

“As a British driver it has been amazing to drive a Formula One car at my home track – it’s certainly a memory that will stay with me,” he explained. “The car is just phenomenal – the high speed grip, the brakes and the g-forces. I’m really happy with how things have gone and I hope the work we’ve done will help the race drivers in Hungary.”

Calado will return to his duties with ART Grand Prix in the GP2 championship at the Hungaroring, currently lying 5th in the championship.

Ferrari signs Callum Ilott to young driver academy

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Ferrari has confirmed the signing of rising British racer Callum Ilott to its prestigious driver academy ahead of the 2018 season.

Ilott, 18, is a former member of Red Bull’s junior program, and has spent the last three years racing in the FIA European Formula 3 series, taking eight race wins.

After finishing the 2017 season fourth in the championship with Prema Powerteam, Ilott has now linked up with the Ferrari Driver Academy in the next step of his racing career, becoming its first British member.

“Ferrari Driver Academy is pleased to announce that British driver Callum Ilott is the latest promising young driver to be selected for its development program,” an announcement from Ferrari reads.

“18 years old, Ilott joins the FDA in his third season in car racing, having just finished the FIA F3 European Championship. He comes with a strong pedigree in international Formula 3 racing, having made the jump directly from karting as reigning European Champion.

“Ilott joins Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco, Guan Yu Zhou, Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong and Enzo Fittipaldi in the programme, which supports talented young drivers on their career path in motorsport.”

Besides its existing roster, the Ferrari Driver Academy also played a part in the careers of Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and the late Jules Bianchi.