It hasn’t exactly been the ideal year so far for Carlin’s Dan Ticktum. The 22-year-old Brit is currently sitting in P4 in the F2 Championship after five rounds with three remaining, however he was released by Williams and their Driver Academy at the start of August and is currently looking for employment for next season.
By Tyler Foster
After being dropped by the Red Bull Junior Team in 2019, this is the second time he has left a Formula 1 development team under questionable circumstances. While he is extremely disappointed by this situation, he has performed well so far this season with one victory and six podiums. The Brit showed strong pace throughout the last weekend at Monza, but only walked away with one points finish, a 3rd place in the Feature Race. For Ticktum, the season has been as tough on track as the incidents off it.
“It’s been a pretty tough season for all sorts of reasons. On and off track. It’s not been the greatest year for me. I have to say it’s been very mentally challenging. This weekend I had a load of bad luck unfortunately. I was sent out at the wrong time in qualifying. Then I got hit off in the first sprint race and then your whole Saturday is in the bin as obviously I scored no points. That’s just not reflective of our pace this weekend at all. I should have been scoring at least 30 points this weekend.”
The next round in Formula 2 is between 24th and 26th September at the Sochi Autodrom, with the newly constructed Jeddah Street Circuit and Yas Marina being the last two rounds in December.
“At Sochi, Carlin have been very strong there in the past and also Abu Dhabi. Obviously, we don’t know what’s going to happen in Jeddah, but it looks fast and flowing and difficult. It would probably suit me. My objective now is top three in the championship. I’m going to just stop worrying about stuff too much. Sometimes the season pans out for you, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s another season where it seems to be falling into ‘doesn’t’ for me.”
Fourth in the standings, with 104 points, Ticktum is still technically in the championship fight. He is currently 45 points behind the championship leader Oscar Piastri. He was asked by selected media including F1 Feeder Series after the Sunday’s Feature Race about his chances for the title this season.
“I think it’s going to be tough. If you have one very strong weekend and score over 40 points, you’re pretty much back there [in the championship fight]. The gap to Oscar is pretty sizable now. Three rounds is time, but it’s not enough I don’t think. I’m never going to give up. I don’t think where I am in the championship is reflective of how good myself and the car has been. Drivers always moan and complain about bad luck but I talk truth and the reality of it is I have had quite a lot of it this year.”
Ultimately it seems that regardless of Ticktum’s performance in the championship this season, his future has already been decided by his on and off-track antics over the course of his career. He spoke about his disappointment in leaving Williams at such a crucial time.
“I can’t give details on why we parted ways. It’s a number of reasons if I’m honest. It’s not my place to discuss. However, there wouldn’t have been a drive for me next year anyway with [Nicholas] Latifi extending his contract. Obviously, it’s very disappointing. My chances of getting to Formula 1 are pretty much gone. That’s the reality. We sort of live in a world where our sport is very political and quite unjust. The best drivers or most talented, sometimes don’t get to the top. Whether that’s my fault or not; I’ve opened my mouth far too many times and said things I shouldn’t have said.
“I am who I am but I don’t quite fit the modern Formula 1 driver mould which, as you can tell in my tone of voice, is pretty depressing. I’m pretty sad to have parted ways with Williams. Never say never, I’m a very fast driver. Maybe there will be a way back into Formula 1 one day but it isn’t looking promising.”
With the future looking bleak for the Carlin driver, he suggested that there was a possibility this may be his last season in motorsport if there aren’t any exciting opportunities for him next year.
“My chances in Formula 1 have pretty much gone; I don’t know many other young drivers that get booted out of two programmes. Whether it was completely justified on both occasions, I could still argue it. I haven’t been in an article that seems to be massively employable to Formula 1 unfortunately. I’m changing and I believe I am getting closer to that article everyday but sadly I believe I’ve probably blown my chances now.
“I don’t know what I’m going to end up doing next year. If I can’t find a way to win races and earn a load of money in motorsport then I’m going to dip. We’ll see where I end up but hopefully I’ll get some good opportunities and I’m sure I can be very valuable to either another F1 team or somewhere across the pond.”
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