Callum Ilott F1 test crash 'not as obvious' as initially thought

Ferrari-backed Callum Ilott says the crash that truncated his Formula 1 test debut at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was “not as obvious” as initially thought.

Ilott, who races for the Alfa Romeo-affiliated Sauber Junior Team in Formula 2, was given the opportunity to sample the team’s C38 for Tuesday’s test action in Spain.

Ilott completed 40 laps but next time around he crashed out of proceedings through Turn 3, bringing his day in the car to a premature end, with three hours of the session still remaining.

“It was a really positive day other than the crash,” he said.

“We’re still going through what caused the crash because it’s not as obvious as I thought it was. But we’ll see.

“Anyway, I’ve always got to take some blame because it’s a crash, but we’re going to see why at that point I lost it, because it looks pretty similar to any other lap.

“Turn 3, I’d done the first part of it and then out of nowhere just a big snap. No previous movement, just gone. So that’s why it’s a bit unexplained.

“There’s no difference in wind, something hasn’t broken that we’ve seen, and in terms of driving it looks very similar, so it’s a bit strange.

“For me I was completely caught off-guard because it was exactly the same as the other laps in terms of driving.

“If you’d asked me three hours ago I was obviously a bit more distraught, but these guys have supported me right from the beginning of the day to the end of the day and the attitude towards everyone has been really helpful and really strengthening.”

Ilott was nonetheless encouraged with his first day of action in Formula 1 machinery.

“It was probably the biggest off I’ve ever had so it was a record breaker for me on my first day in F1,” he joked.

“Obviously, not good at all but I can only look at the positives from the day when it ends like that. But it’s really unfortunate. I don’t want to be so negative about it.

“It was my first day in F1 and we did have some really positive steps in the day before that – with little to no mistakes before.

“I was really getting comfortable and this was a weird anomaly that happened on the fastest corner on the circuit.”

Regular Alfa Romeo racer Kimi Raikkonen will be in test action on Wednesday.