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This Red Bull Racing junior was supposed to be Verstappen's successor

This Red Bull Racing junior was supposed to be Verstappen's successor

8 January - 15:24 Last update: 18:36
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GPblog.com

Over the years, Red Bull Racing's junior program has seen many drivers pass by, sometimes leading to great success and sometimes leading to great disappointment. Callum Ilott, by his own admission, should have followed in the footsteps of Max Verstappen, but that plan failed.

In recent years we have seen many young drivers make their debut in Formula 1. One of the biggest proponents of this is undoubtedly Red Bull Racing, which has set up an active and large junior program. The team is sometimes criticized for overselecting, but it does give young drivers a chance to show their talent in Formula 1 or one of the feeder series.

Similarly, Callum Ilott was also set to make his debut in F1 at a young age, when he joined Red Bull Racing. "The whole point of the partnership was to follow in the footsteps of Max Verstappen," the British driver tells the Chasing the Apex podcast.

A difficult Formula 3 season

It however didn't come to that. Ilott was given the chance by Helmut Marko to prove himself in Formula 3, a year after Verstappen and Esteban Ocon had impressively shown their talent. Unfortunately for Ilott, he could not leave the same impression at the Carlin team. Nevertheless, the Briton is not disappointed with his performance afterwards. "Especially when you see what great drivers were driving in F3 that year".

For example, Ilott had to compete against Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Alexander Albon, among others. Ilott's eleventh place was just not enough to continue his partnership with Red Bull, although he was able to continue driving in the junior classes.

It never came to a debut in Formula One, but that doesn't mean Illot's racing career has hit a dead end. In fact, the Brit started in IndyCar in late 2021 and will drive full-time in the series in 2022, for the Juncos Hollinger Racing team.

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