Has Dan Ticktum Blown His F1 Chances?

by Martin Blessing

Thousands of young kids dream of a career in Formula 1. Families make significant sacrifices. Vast amounts of money are spent. All of these efforts are made to pursue a potential career in the top tier of motorsport, yet more often than not, the opportunity falls just out of reach.

For those lucky enough to make it in to the realms of Formula 3 and Formula 2, they know the job is far from complete. There’s a massive struggle ahead of them to make it to the dizzying heights of Formula 1. Their job is to compete to the best of their abilities, every weekend. Finish high enough in the respective championships and you’re bound to be getting attention from the Formula 1 teams, if you’re not already part of their driver program.

But you’re driving ability is only part of the puzzle. You’re attitude and overall public perception play hugely in to the decision making process. Do you have an appeal that harmonises with the fans? Can you handle interviews correctly? Are you likely to be a team player, or a rogue individual? This analysis is huge and is always highly considered when analysing a drivers abilities.

This is where Dan Ticktum becomes a rather serious headache in the world of motorsport.

The Early Years

If you’re new to the world of single-seater motorsport, Dan Ticktum is a young, 22 year-old, talented driver, currently competing in the Formula 2 championship with the Carlin team. Dan’s career began much like most drivers at his level. Beginning with karting at the early of eight, it took him a mere four years to win the British FKS Championship, National ABkC Super One Championship, British Open Championship and British Grand Prix Championship. A very impressive feat. Working his way through the varying karting series’, Ticktum beat the likes of Lando Norris and Jehan Daruvala on his travels. Not forgetting to mention breaking a lap record at Brands Hatch too.

Dan was clearly a force to be reckoned with. But it was his foray in to Formula 4, where things begun to get a little, well, sour. In 2015, Ticktum joined Formula 4 (then known as MSA Formula). Early race results put Dan at the top of the drivers championship. As the season progressed, Ticktum’s performance slipped and found himself falling down the championship standings. The most notable incident of this season however, came at the penultimate race of the season at Silverstone. Under safety car conditions, Ticktum had deliberately overtaken 10 cars to collide with one of his rivals, Ricky Collard. With such a staggering incident caused by Ticktum, the MSA had no hesitation in handing Dan a two year racing ban. This was later reduced to a one year ban, with a further one year suspended ban.

Rise From The Ashes

An incident of this calibre, would usually leave a driver on the scrapheap, never to be seen or heard from again. However, not Mr Ticktum.

In 2016, Ticktum returned. This time to the European Formula 3 Championship, where he would take part in the final race of the season at Hockenheim with Carlin.

Dan Ticktum European F3 Carlin
Dan Ticktum – 2017 Carlin

For 2017 he went to race in the European Formula 3 Championship with the Motopark outfit. Ticktum made a huge impression at the start of the season, taking a large number of wins across the first few rounds. However, Mick Schumacher’s reinvigorated form was putting pressure on Ticktum’s title chances. After the round in Austria, Ticktum took to Instagram to vent his frustrations;

Compared to the top 2 no one on this grid had a chance. Even their other teammates who are good drivers were nowhere compared to them.

Interesting is how I would describe their pace and I am confident many people in the F3 paddock will agree. I did the best possible as I always endeavour to do!

When the doubters started replying in the comments, Ticktum’s reply was;

To all people who have left negative comments on here… this is the one and only response you will get from me, so enjoy it…. I’m not a sore loser. Neither am I salty. I have a huge respect for Mick who had dealt with a lot in the past few years.

I am simply suggesting that it seems to have come from nowhere? I never said it was illegal. I appreciate I have lessons to learn still! I’m not denying that. You don’t know the real story because you are not at the track looking at everyone’s data.

So I’m afraid I have to tell you that your opinion is invalid under these circumstances. I’ll say it only once more, unless you have something constructive to say, leave your useless, ill thought comments off my page as they have no evidence to ratify the truth.

If you want to talk to me DM me as I can answer your questions if you may have some! Unfortunately however I am fighting a losing battle as my last name is not Schumacher.

To suggest he was at an unfair advantage to Schumacher, simply because of his family, didn’t go down to well with motorsport seniors. Most notably Christian Horner, suggesting Ticktum “sometimes engages his mouth before brain”.

In 2019, Dan Ticktum was dropped from the Red Bull junior driver program and subsequently picked up by the Williams driver academy.

Crash and Burn

With racing across varying championships across a few years, Dan Ticktum finally settled in Formula 2 with DAMS in 2020. A fairly understated start to the season, with a podium in Austria, it was racing once again at Silverstone, that would cast Ticktum under the spotlight.

Coming down the Hangar Straight, in lap 15 of the Feature Race, Ticktum went three-wide with Artem Markelov and Louis Deletraz. Deletraz would overtake both Markelov and Ticktum, but not without Ticktum having a few words to say over the team radio;

The next time that ****** tries a kamikaze move like that I’m going to crash with him.

I will never give him that much respect ever again

Having already served a ban for such an offence, these weren’t the wisest words to use.

Repeat Offender

Having stayed in Formula 2 for over a year, Dan’s no doubt been itching to get a chance to drive in Formula 1. Controversies aside, his talent is still evident, with a current P4 standing in the driver championship for the 2021 season.

Yet Ticktum finds himself again in the middle of another outburst, coming this time from the drivers Twitch channel. Whilst streaming, Ticktum’s friend was singing the “Scooby-Doo” theme tune, with specific amendments to the lyrics – Scooby-Doobie Doo Latifi is poo“.

After hearing this, one of his viewers posted a comment on the channel; “I mean he’s in F1, you’re in F2…,”.

After seeing this, Ticktum replied, rather abruptly; “He’s older than me, he paid to get there,”.

Now not happy with the viewer, Ticktum added; “M*ron. Fu*king idiot. Go away, like I don’t want someone like that one my fu*king channel. Goodbye!

It ceases to amaze all, that Ticktum, a driver that possesses raw, unrivalled talent, can constantly be embroiled in these entanglements. But the latest outburst, could be enough to kill his hopes of driving a Formula 1 car altogether. With Ticktum being in the Williams driver academy, accusations of that nature towards one of their drivers from within the camp would be unprecedented. It will no doubt be on the radar of those at Williams, but the question is, how long will it continue?

Perhaps Ticktum has an almighty sense of entitlement, given his talents, but that’s no excuse. His public perception is being tarnished, almost yearly now. If he doesn’t clean up his act soon, he may lose that opportunity that so many yearn for.

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