Formula 2 frontrunner Callum Ilott is not on Haas’ driver shortlist of possible candidates for a 2021 Formula 1 seat, according to team principal Guenther Steiner.

Haas is currently evaluating its driver line-up options for next season having signed F1’s new Concorde Agreement, with Steiner recently saying that up to 10 drivers were in the frame for a seat at the American squad, which is open to completely revising its line-up.

Ferrari protégé Ilott, who sits second in the F2 championship behind Mick Schumacher, is set to make his F1 race weekend debut at the Nurburgring replacing Romain Grosjean at Haas for FP1 on Friday.

But speaking ahead of this weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix, Haas chief Steiner said that Ilott is currently not in contention for an F1 drive with the team next year.

“He’s not on the list because he’s a Ferrari driver and he’s their driver, so therefore he’s not on the list,” Steiner explained.

“I don’t know what they are doing with him, what their plans are for him so at the moment he’s not on the list.

“I have a lot of respect for him because he’s second in the F2 championship, which means he’s pretty good.

“I met him the first time this morning briefly, we’ll have a meeting this afternoon, so I will learn a little bit more about him.

“Being very honest he’s not on the list now, but maybe he’s on the list tomorrow. But it will not depending on the FP1 result.

“For sure if he does one thing that he shouldn’t be doing then he wouldn’t be on the list anymore, like if he crashes the car.”

Ilott will be joined by fellow Ferrari Academy Driver Schumacher in taking part in opening practice in Germany, with the latter driving for Alfa Romeo.

Ferrari is keen to find F1 seats for its juniors, including Robert Shwartzman, and Steiner did not dismiss the prospect of Haas using its close ties to the Scuderia to field one of its drivers in the future.

“They are in the fortunate position to have three good ones and for sure they put themselves in that position by investing in the right guys,” he said.

“Being aligned in the engine with them, if you want drivers, for sure we will talk with them first. But they put themselves in that position, there is nothing that goes beyond the collaboration on the engine side.

“I think Ferrari has got that issue because they have got three very good ones, all of which are in the top five in F2. I don’t know how they are going to solve that problem but thank god it’s not my problem.”

Steiner revealed that while Haas is yet to make a final decision on its line-up for 2021, he stressed the team is “getting there slowly”.

Current drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are in contention, while free agents Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg have also been linked.

 

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