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Callum Ilott to enjoy first GP2 test in Abu Dhabi next week

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Rising British racer Callum Ilott will enjoy his first test in a GP2 car in Abu Dhabi next week at the post-season test with ART Grand Prix.

Ilott, 18, spent 2016 racing the FIA F3 European Championship, finishing the year sixth in the standings with two wins to his name.

The Briton confirmed earlier this week that he would be spending a third year in the series, stepping up to champion outfit Prema Powerteam for the 2017 season.

Ilott will also get a chance to showcase his talent behind the wheel of a GP2 car with ART on December 1 and 2 at the Yas Marina Circuit.

“The chance to test a GP2 car was something I just couldn’t miss,” Ilott said.

“It’s a category I will be looking to for the future so a chance to get a decent amount of seat time is something I jumped at. With our plans for 2017 already in place and secure, I can also just enjoy the experience.

“The GP2 car appears more physical to drive and the chance for some more power is always welcome. It’s a lot quicker on the straights and more raw, which I like the sound of.

“GP2 also needs a very different tire strategy to what I am used to. As a driver I’m interested to see how that actually works in practice and how I am able to manage them over longer runs.”

Ilott is set to be joined at the post-season test by an array of drivers considering a move into GP2 for 2017, with the remainder of the entry list still to be confirmed.

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”