Callum Ilott says the crash that brought his Formula 1 test debut to an early end was “the biggest off I’ve ever had”, curtailing an otherwise-positive first outing with Alfa Romeo for the British driver.

Ferrari junior driver Ilott sampled F1 machinery for the first time on Tuesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with Alfa Romeo, racking up 41 laps in the team’s C38 car.

But a snap midway through Turn 3 sent Ilott’s car off the track and into the barrier, bringing the team’s day to an end with three hours still on the clock.

“In the morning we batted through all the testing that we needed to,” Ilott said after the day’s running.

“I was happy, the team were happy, so we were getting through that really well. So overall it was a really positive day other than the crash.

“I think the team were happy because we did actually get through the program that they wanted to and that side of things, so afterwards it would have been more focused on me to do some performance runs, which is a big shame I missed out on, but these things happen unfortunately.”

Ilott said the cause of the crash was “not as obvious as I thought it was”, saying there had been no change of conditions between laps.

“We’re going to see why at that point I lost it, because it looks pretty similar to any other lap. We’ll look at that in more detail, but overall it’s been an incredible day,” Ilott said.

“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 said he was confident of taking lessons learned from his first F1 test back to Formula 2, where he is looking to build on his first podium finish in Barcelona last weekend.

“I think obviously there are quite a few things I can take from it,” Ilott said.

“The way an F1 team works is always another level beyond F2 and that, and I think from my side, the way I work in the background in terms of reports with the engineer, working with my engineer, working with the team.

“And then character-building a bit, I think with every day that you do, whether it’s in an F4 car, an F3 car, an F2 car, an F1 car, you learn some more than others.

“The last two days, because yesterday we were going through a lot of stuff, I think in a preparation aspect, it’s been really helpful to see it from a different side, obviously working with a load of guys just for one car, and to see the level of detail they went into, I think you can definitely bring a few things to help you that side of the paddock.”



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