Williams rates Ticktum as 'one of the best'

Williams F1 deputy team principal Claire Williams says that the squad’s new development driver Dan Ticktum is one of the best drivers that they have seen in the simulator.

Ticktum was formerly a part of the Red Bull junior driver programme and was runner-up to Mick Schumacher in the 2018 FIA Euro F3 Series.

He had been touted as Helmut Marko’s preferred candidate to step into F1 with Toro Rosso, but lacked the superlicence points to do so and the spot went to Alexander Albon instead.

The 20-year-old Londoner was subsequently dropped by Red Bull after a disappointing start to his 2019 Super Formula campaign, just three races into the season.

Williams has now picked up Ticktum as part of its revamped test and development programme after being particularly impressed by his work in the simulator.

“When we put him in our simulator, the guys said he was one of the best drivers they’ve ever seen,” Williams told MotorsportWeek.com this week.

“He’s got great talent. I think it needs harnessing, but we have experience doing that,” she added. “It’s going to be really interesting with Dan and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

Ticktum’s split from Red Bull came amid rumours that Marko wasn’t happy with his professionalism. Previously, he had been handed a lengthy ban from motorsport in 2016 for deliberately crashing into a rival behind the safety car during a MSA Formula race.

But Williams wasn’t concerned about how he would fit in at Grove, and said there was no question of any prima donna behaviour.

“He knows what’s expected of him and how he needs to behave,” she insisted. “Everyone has to roll their sleeves up and do the job in the way that is expected of them.

“He’s one person in a team of 750,” she continued. “We’ve always had the attitude at Williams that no one is more important than anyone else.

“Dan knows and understands that,” Williams added. “With the experiences that he’s had now, I think he’s matured a lot and is willing to get his head down and just do the job that we’re asking him to do.”

As well as joining the Williams’ Formula 1 Driver Academy, Ticktum will also take part in the 2020 Formula 2 championship where he will be driving for reigning team champions DAMS.

It’s a second chance for Ticktum, who looked at the verge of being permanently left out in the cold after his split with Red Bull.

“[Dan is] a great British talent that shouldn’t be lost in our sport, for whatever reason,” Williams insisted.

“The way testing is now in Formula 1, it’s so difficult for these guys to get any kind of air-time to showcase their talent, or the develop their talent.

“Programmes like the academy are so important, so that we can take that talent that can potentially be lost and give them the opportunities,” she continued.

“The FP1 sessions – or the test days, whatever – in order to see what they can do, so we don’t potentially lose talent that otherwise may be lost.”

However Ticktum won’t be the team’s official reserve driver, a position that has instead gone to Israeli driver Roy Nissany who took part in post-season testing with the team at Abu Dhabi last month. Like Ticktum, Nissany will also be racing in F2, for Trident.

And the Williams simulator duties will be shared with W Series champion Jamie Chadwick, who confirmed earlier this month that she had been retained in her development role at Williams for a second season.

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Ticktum ‘one of best drivers Williams has ever seen’

Claire Williams is excited to work with Dan Ticktum, whose simulator work resulted in the “guys saying he was one of the best drivers they’ve ever seen”.

Ticktum has joined Williams as a development driver for the 2020 campaign after being axed from the Red Bull programme following a underwhelming start to his 2019 Super Formula season and rumours of behavioural issues.

The 2017 and 2018 Macau Grand Prix winner still has a lingering bad reputation after he received a lengthy ban for crashing into a rival under Safety Car conditions on purpose in MSA Formula in 2016.

Given a fresh start by Williams, the deputy principal says Ticktum has left a good first impression through his time in the simulator and are ready to “harness” his talent.

“I think it’s going to be really interesting with Dan and we’re looking forward to working with him,” Claire Williams said when asked by MotorsportWeek.com about Ticktum.

“And I know when we put him in our simulator, the guys said he was one of the best drivers they’ve ever seen.

“I think he’s got great talent. I think it needs harnessing. We have experience doing that.

“He knows what’s expected of him and, you know, how he needs to behave.

“He’s one person in a team of 750 and we’ve always had the attitude at Williams that no one is more important than anyone else, everyone has to roll their sleeves up and do the job in the way that is expected of them.

“And I think Dan knows and understands that. And I think with the experiences that he’s had now, I think he’s matured a lot and is willing to get his head down and just do the job that we’re asking him to do.”

Ticktum is not expected to be given any track time by Williams in 2020, with Israeli Roy Nissany the first in line as test driver to be given opportunities to try out the Formula 1 car for real.

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Ticktum joins Williams as development driver

Red Bull reject Dan Ticktum has signed as Williams’ development driver, joining the team’s driver academy.

Earlier this year Ticktum, a double winner of the Macau Grand Prix, was dropped from Red Bull’s junior programme with team boss Christian Horner saying it just “wasn’t working out”.

However, the 2020 DAMS Formula 2 driver hasn’t been left out of the F1 picture for very long with Williams snapping him up.

The team announced on Tuesday that Ticktum had joined Williams’ driver academy in the role of development driver.

The 20-year-old will conduct simulator work and help with car development while also attending two race weekends with full driver integration.

“It is a privilege to be joining the Williams Racing Driver Academy, especially given Williams’ incredible heritage in our sport,” said Ticktum.

“The time in the simulator and experience working with the team will prove invaluable for my development.

“Being fully integrated into the operations will be a fantastic opportunity and I look forward to assisting wherever I can.”

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, added: “I am delighted that Dan, another exciting young British talent, has joined the Williams Racing Driver Academy.

His ability behind the wheel has been demonstrated with back-to-back successes at the prestigious Macau Grand Prix in 2017 and 2018.

“Dan’s technical expertise will prove invaluable to the team and we are looking forward to helping him grow and develop in 2020.”

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Ticktum could ‘forget’ motorsport if doesn’t make it to F1

Former Red Bull youngster Dan Ticktum says he will “probably forget motorsport” if he can’t make his way into F1.

The 20-year-old British driver, who has developed a reputation for his fiery personality, was dropped from the Red Bull junior programme and his Super Formula seat in May.

Ticktum was P15 in the Super Formula standings at the time of his axing, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner saying the youngster simply hadn’t seized his opportunity.

Since then the youngster has linked up with Van Amersfoort for the end of the Formula Regional European season, finishing in the top eight in all of his six races, while his attempt to become the first person to win the Macau Grand Prix for three consecutive years ended in P13 after being caught up in a pile-up in a qualification race.

He has also been plotting his destination for next season, and it’s rumoured to be F2 with DAMS said to be interested in the Briton.

Though he can’t give much information away, Ticktum believes his desired next move will open up opportunities in F1, but if it fails to do so, then he will “probably forget motorsport” altogether.

“We’ve got something sorted [for next year], I can’t go into more detail than that,” Ticktum told Motorsport.com.

“A lot of people will know which direction I’ll be going in. It will all come out very soon.

“F1 is the end goal. I’ve been like that since I started going down the single-seater route.

“If I can’t get to F1, I’ll probably – unless I get a very good deal in something else – I’ll probably forget motorsport if I’m honest.

“You never know when you’re in the situation, if you don’t get to F1 and you’re given an amazing Formula E contract, you probably wouldn’t turn it down.

“It’s very different when you’re in the position [being offered something outside of F1], but the end goal is very much Formula 1.

“I’m always quite realistic with my goals and I think it is realistic. If I didn’t think it was realistic, I’d say. I do still think it’s a possibility.”

Ticktum says there has been interest from other junior programmes, though they all want him to prove himself first. But that is what he intends to do, and he hopes he may even be able to change Red Bull’s mind.

“I’ve had interest from a few people and a few teams, they’re all saying more or less the same thing, which is ‘go and prove yourself in what I’ll be doing next year’,” he explained.

“Hopefully if I have a good year next year I think that will open a lot of doors. Even Red Bull’s, who knows.”

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Ticktum puts ‘balderdash’ assault rumours to bed

Dan Ticktum has put the record straight over his exit from Red Bull, saying reports that he assaulted his engineer are “rubbish”, adding that he is still hopeful of making a comeback in F2 next season.

Ticktum joined the Red Bull Junior Team in 2017 and he showed plenty of promise, finishing second to Mick Schumacher in the European Formula 3 series last year.

He was promoted to the Super Formula Championship for the 2019 season, but he then not only lost his seat after three rounds, but Red Bull also cut ties with him.

Rumours then did the rounds that off-track factors played a part in Red Bull’s decision, but Ticktum has dismissed those suggestions.

“I know a lot of people want lots of details. And I want this to be put to bed, I’ve heard a lot of rumours,” he told Formula Scout.

“So the rumours of me assaulting my engineer, which I’ve heard going around, have been made up by some 35-year-old bloke in his mum’s bedroom on social media. It’s a complete rumour.

“When I first heard of it, it said: RUMOUR that Dan Ticktum… It’s literally someone’s made it up and it’s got some traction because of my history. People are believing it. But, I will say now, and you can quote me on this, it’s balderdash. It’s rubbish.

“If that had happened, you would have heard it from Honda or from Red Bull, or the statement that Red Bull gave when they dropped me would have had that involved. So that’s nothing to do with that.”

He later added that the decision was based purely on on-track displays.

“It was performance [based]. The team struggled, even my team-mate was struggling. There was definitely some damage from round two at Autopolis when I hit the kerb, because at Sugo I was absolutely nowhere,” he said.

Although he admits Red Bull didn’t give him “enough of a chance” to show what he is capable of, he refuses to “slag them off” and hopes he can make a comeback with another team in 2020.

“So there we go,” he said. “I wasn’t given enough of a chance [in SF]. But I’m not going to slag Red Bull off, they gave me an opportunity. Maybe they didn’t give me enough time. But still, they gave me the money to go racing, they gave me the belief and I did a lot of stuff in the simulator, worked very hard. I was doing a lot of F1 sim stuff before I got dropped.

“Christian [Horner, Red Bull Racing team principal], I’m sure he’ll back whatever I say up. He was very happy with the F1 tests and also the simulator work I was doing at the factory. Everyone was happy. So it was just a bit of a rash decision, I think.

“But there’s no disrespect to Dr Helmut [Marko, Red Bull Junior team boss], I got on really well with him so I’m not going to burn the bridge. Who knows what will happen in the future.

“I’m aiming to try to get a good deal in F2 next year, and hopefully get some good results, and who knows what doors are going to open soon. We’ll see.”

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