HAAS Formula 1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner says that he is looking for “consistency and feedback,” from Callum Ilott, ahead of the UNI-Virtuosi racer’s Grand Prix debut this weekend, in Free Practice 1 at the Nürburgring.
The Formula 2 title challenger is set to make his first competitive appearance in F1 machinery, when he takes to the Vf-20 on Friday, as part of his role in the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Ilott will clamber into Romain Grosjean’s No.8 machine in Germany and Steiner was clean to play down expectations in the leadup to his outing.
“We don’t look too much at the time, we’re looking at his consistency and the feedback he can bring to the team,” Steiner explained. “That’s where we judge a driver, not on outright pace, because 90 minutes is not a long time to be sitting in a car like a Formula 1 car.
“We’ll just try to manage that we get feedback and that he gets a good experience with us.”
The British driver is bidding for an F1 seat in 2020 and will be hoping to impress on Friday. His FDA teammate and title rival Mick Schumacher is also getting a go in F1 machinery, at Alfa Romeo.
The HAAS boss went on to explain the plan laid out to Ilott ahead of the session, with rain a possibility at the Nürburgring on Friday.
“The programme will be the same as it would be for one of our regular drivers,” Steiner continued. “Maybe we tell him (Ilott) to be a little bit more careful when he goes out there as at the moment rain is predicted.
“Otherwise, we just always try and work through our FP1 program and do the best we can knowing that for a driver being in his first weekend session in a Formula 1 car – there’s a lot of pressure, a lot of unknowns.”