Ferrari-backed Callum Ilott says he is unlikely to be racing next year but remains hopeful of taking up a Formula 1 seat in 2022.
Earlier this week Ilott ruled himself out of an F1 drive for 2021 amid links to Haas, who soon after announced it had signed Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher for next season.
Ilott placed himself into F1 contention with a strong Formula 2 campaign this year and remains firmly in contention for the championship, holding a 14-point deficit to Schumacher ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain finale.
Speaking in an Instagram Live video with Formula 2, Ilott says he hopes to be a regular in the F1 paddock next year to keep his hopes of a 2022 drive alive.
“It’s still in the process of finalising what I do, so I can’t say exactly what I will do because I don’t know the full details yet,” Ilott said.
“I haven’t really been briefed on that. Obviously it will be trying to be involved and around Formula 1 as much as possible, because that’s the goal for 2022.
“So I’m going to try and get as much out of that as possible. From a racing perspective, it’s looking unlikely that I’ll be racing anything, I’m still pushing.
“But unfortunately it’s quite late in the season and a lot of things are already full up and very expensive.
“I’m looking at the options, it might just be [something] to keep me active, keep me doing something.
“But it’s very, very, very unlikely that I’ll be doing Formula 2 again. I’ll probably be in and around the paddock in F1.
“As a racing driver, I want to be racing. It’s what I do best. But if I have to sit out and wait a year, I don’t mind that either.”
Ilott currently trails Schumacher by 14 points in the Championship as the series switches to Bahrain’s ‘outer’ layout for the season finale.
With the title battle coming down to the wire, Ilott affirms he can’t do anything more than concentrate on Schumacher and ensuring he beats him in qualifying and both races.
“There’s some guys who seem to be very quick in a straight line, and there’s lots of straight lines here,” Ilott said. “Hopefully there isn’t too much of a difference here but you never know.
“That makes it quite difficult, especially for the races. If you’re gaining three-tenths or something in the straights, it doesn’t make it easy over a full race distance.
“Obviously my main rival for this weekend is Mick, so I’ve got to pay attention to what’s going on there and make sure I finish ahead of him.”