#30 Callum Ilott (GBR – Carlin Dallara-VW)
FIA Formula 3 European Championship position: 15th – 32.5 points – after 24 of 33 races
Callum Ilott renews his FIA Formula 3 European Championship campaign this coming weekend in Portugal with another new circuit for him, Portimão. "I'm looking forward to it, I have tried it in the sim and even better I had a test in a Renault 2.0 so at least I know which way it goes," explained the 16-year-old Briton.
"It's a bit different to most of the circuits we use in that the corners are slower, mostly 2nd and 3rd gear so that is a change," continued the Red Bull Junior. "I think it suits my driving at the moment as I am doing better in the slower corners rather than high speed."
Learning all the time
"It is all coming together though, we can see even from the sim that my lap times are improving and I'm getting more consistent. I have now adapted better to the F3 car and I am looking forward to the weekend."
"We haven't had too big a break since the last race at the Red Bull Ring and I didn't feel that there were too many cobwebs when I got back in the car but it was certainly good to do that, not just to have the sim preparation."
F3 and R2.0 differences
"It was the closest car we could use but of course it is different. The engine power and the tyres are similar but the Renault has less downforce so you feel that you are fighting the car a bit more. That is good practice for late in the race when the tyres have gone away a bit so I think it was very useful preparation."
"Also getting out in a car gives you more information about the track surface and at Portimão there are quite a few bumps especially off line. Of course you shouldn't be off line but that's going to happen in some racing situations so it was great to get the feel for that."
Not lower downforce
Ilott had a great Race 3 at the Norisring running very low downforce but that has not carried forward as he thought it might. "No, it seems that track was a bit special and the thought to run the low downforce that I enjoyed so much there hasn't really happened. We have tried it and perhaps run a little lower but not that much."
Portimão weekend schedule – all times CET
Friday September 4th
9:00 Free Practice 1 – 40 minutes
9:45 Free Practice 2 – 40 minutes
13:15 Qualifying Race 1 – 20 minutes
17:15 Qualifying Races 2&3 – 20 minutes
Saturday September 5th
11:15 Race 1 - 35 minutes
16:30 Race 2 - 35 minutes
Sunday September 6th
11:15 Race 3 – 35 minutes