Callum Ilott has been appointed a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo and will make his Formula 1 practice debut on Friday at this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix.

The 22-year-old will act as Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver at events Robert Kubica is unavailable due to his racing commitments in other categories and Ilott’s new role will also see him take part in “a number” of FP1 outings this season, beginning at Portimao.

Ilott missed out on a full-time F1 drive for this season despite finishing runner-up in Formula 2 last year but was signed by Ferrari to become its test driver, as well as embarking on a GT racing programme with the Italian outfit in 2021.

An appearance in opening practice at this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix will mark a long-awaited debut outing during an F1 grand prix weekend for Ilott, having seen his previously scheduled FP1 run in Germany cancelled due to poor weather last year.

The Ferrari junior already has some experience with Alfa Romeo, having tested for the Swiss squad in 2019 and again at the post-season Abu Dhabi test at the end of 2020.

“I am really happy to be joining the team for this season and I’d like to thank Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and the Ferrari Driver Academy for the trust they have put in me,” said Ilott.

“The two sessions I had with the team in the last two years have been extremely useful in getting me accustomed to the way a Formula 1 team works and I am confident I can hit the ground running in my new role as one of the reserve drivers at Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN.

“I can’t wait to be in the car and help the team continue its progress.”

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur added: “I am delighted to welcome Callum to our team: his journey through the junior series has been an impressive one and he is without doubt one of the most talented young drivers coming through the ranks.

“He has worked with us before, each time leaving a lasting impression thanks to his work ethic and good feedback, and I have no doubt he will be a very positive addition to Robert Kubica, who will be unavailable on various occasions due to his other racing programmes.

“Callum will have a busy programme and we can’t wait to see him on track again this weekend.”