Ticktum’s insinuations after F3 blow: ‘I’m fighting a losing battle as my name isn’t Schumacher’

Formula Three

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Red Bull junior driver Dan Ticktum made insinuations about the “interesting” performance of two of his Formula Three rivals after losing the championship lead to Mick Schumacher with one round to go.

A sudden reversal in fortunes has seen Ticktum go from a 26-point lead over Schumacher in the championship 18 days ago to a 49-point deficit. There are 75 points still available in the season finale at the Hockenheimring.

The son of seven-times Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher has hit a strong run of form in the second half of the championship. Having taken just 64 points from the opening 12 races, he has more than doubled his scoring rate since, adding a further 265 points in the 15 races since.

One of Schumacher’s team mates in the five-strong Prema squad, Ferrari Driver Academy member Robert Shwarzman, has also performed much more strongly in the last two race weekends. The pair appear to be the subject of a social media post by Ticktum yesterday after Schumacher and Shwarzman finished in the top two places for the fifth time in the last six races.

“Not ideal is the best way I can describe the weekend here in Austria,” wrote Ticktum. “I don’t like pointing fingers at anyone but to be honest, this weekend the pace in the car was not there. Set-up mainly, as in the last race when we got the car better, we were pretty quick climbing from 7th to 4th.”

“However compared to the top two no one on this grid had a chance. Even their other team mates [Guan Yu Zhou, Ralf Aron and Marcus Armstrong] 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.”

In a series of replies to his followers Ticktum denied he was making “insinuations” and did not indicate what he believes is behind the sudden upswing in form about the two Prema cars. “They may just have a special engine map or something,” he said in one reply. “I never said it was illegal.”

In a broad respond to the many comments his post received, Ticktum indicated the data he had seen from race weekends provoked his suspicions about his rivals’ performance.

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“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,” Ticktum wrote. “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.

Robert Shwarzman, Mick Schumacher, Red Bull Ring, European Formula Three, 2018
Shwarzman and Schumacher achieved six podiums in a row
“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 [direct message] 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.”

2018 European Formula Three championship fight

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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92 comments on “Ticktum’s insinuations after F3 blow: ‘I’m fighting a losing battle as my name isn’t Schumacher’”

  1. it is a little strange how schumacher & Shwartzman have gone from finishing towards the end of the top 10 to dominating 2 weekends by quite a margin.

    to see such a dramatic turn around during a season is unusual. it would be like force india suddenly going from best of the rest to dominant 1st/2nd for several races in a row. however with such limited scope for car changes in f3 you just don’t see something like this mid-season.

    1. I don’t think Prema was 2.5s off the pace like Force India. Comparing moving up the pack order in F3 to F1 doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    2. RogerRichards, it depends on how you look at it, because if you look at his average points finishing position in those opening races, he was averaging 6th – not necessarily that bad a performance.

      It could also be noted that there are actually similar examples of drivers having sudden surges in performance in the latter part of a season. If you look at the 2014 season, Giovinazzi went through a reasonably large upswing in form that season too – his average points haul in the first dozen races was a little over 6 points per race (he scored 77 points over the opening 12 races), whilst in the middle of that season he then had a patch of nine races where he was scoring just over 1 point per race.

      However, in the final dozen races of that season, Giovinazzi suddenly started scoring much more heavily – his average in the final 12 races was more than 12 points per race, about twice what he’d averaged at the start of the season. It meant that nearly two thirds of his points came in the final third of the season, and his average finishing position was three places higher than it had been at the start of the season (his points haul was equivalent to 7th place in each race in the opening 12 races, and closer to an average of 4th place in the final 12 races).

      It might not have been quite as dramatic, but there have been other drivers who have suddenly improved markedly in the latter part of a Formula 3 series. I would have to say that the onus would have to be on Ticktum to offer something more substantial than he is currently prepared to offer in public – not to mention that it does sound a little peculiar that Ticktum is complaining that he only has a highly politically and PR savvy multi-billion euro company throwing its weight behind him.

    3. @RogerRichards Interesting analogy. In 2009, Force India went from being persistently at the back of the F1 grid and presumed perpetual no-hopers, to being on the front row twice in a row and scoring a podium. The reasons were complicated, which did nothing to prevent some people alleging that Force India had been cheating, or else used some sort of bizarre trick to get those results. In 2010, it was consistently midfield – and never looked back.

      Reading this, I feel like Dan may be suspecting one or both of Mick and Robert are crossing a similar threshold and being slightly in denial about it. After all, if such a threshold is being crossed, that weakens Dan’s chances of making the F1 grid. Especially if one of them gets put onto the Red Bull driver development scheme…

      1. @alianora-la-canta, @anon @RogerRichards

        Great comments all. I am not too familiar with the category, but I do know Ticktum’s story. I think we’re finally seeing vestiges of the same kid with an attitude that got banned for 2 years from racing for reacting impulsively. Instead of counting himself lucky for getting a real second chance, he’s whining about something that can only make him look like a sore loser unless he could present proof. I suppose he’ll pull a Lewis’ next and post a picture of the telemetry? We’ll see. I was actually delighted to see a comeback story like his, but this… this is embarrassing.

  2. So if Mick has only got good because his surname is Schumacher, then why is Schvartzman suddenly better?
    I’ll admit, it is a little odd that suddenly they’re vastly better than even their own teammates Armstrong and Aron, which could be because of engine mapping, but then why didn’t Prema do it to Armstrong and Aron who were much closer to the title, or last year to help Gunther and Ilott… so that seems kinda baseless, maybe more likely they’ve just completely figured out the cars? But then why haven’t the others… I dunno… It’s very weird, I’ll give him that, but these insinuations are pretty embarrassing.
    And the way he was replying to comments on the post was incredibly embarrassing, he needs to learn when to shut it, as a notable person he’s never going to come out of an online argument looking better than before he went in. It’s a worthless escapade and he’s doing himself no favours.

    1. @hugh11,

      “Unfortunately however I am fighting a losing battle as my last name is not Schumacher.”

      I don’t think Mick wrote that sentence in the context of the sudden improvements from Schumacher & Schvartzman.

      That losing battle is probably about him not being able to provide enough answers to the amount of criticism and challenges in direct reply to his first post.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        24th September 2018, 12:41

        Hmm think you could be right

      2. Yeah I probably misinterpreted it, but still…

        1. @hugh11 It’s exactly the way the article wanted you to interpret. On the title the quote is presented as something he said after what happened in the race. In the body of the article the quote is there without much effort to put in context.

          I liked @praxis interpretation, thanks for posting it.

      3. You are probably right.
        The title is misleading or worse.

    2. Mick Schumacher sure has deep pockets should he want to “do a stroll” and hire an f1 team or other engineering company to make their cars faster.

  3. Put (the evidence) up (there), or shut up.

    1. Bang on. He’s ruined he rep by coming out with that. It might look suspusious looks you cant say “i’ve seen data” insinuate that data is dodgy then not do anything with the data. Maybe they have just out engineered your team which is the only clear dig he didnt make! Childlish move that might come back to haunt him showing he’s not ready mentally for a Torro Rosso drive

      1. I agree. Both Schumacher and Schwarzman are in the Ferrari Driving Acadamy, which means someone at Ferrari monitors their performances. When you look at the performances of both drivers for earlier this year you can see it was destined to finish the season in obscurity, which would have activated a red flag on a database somewhere in Ferrari. Schumacher’s performance had stagnated while Schwarzman’s was “below expectations” (i.e. was often last of the drivers in that table). Obviously those “obscurity” results aren’t what Ferrari expect. I don’t know what methods Ferrari use at their academy for drivers who’s performance needs to improve, but I’d expect lots of homework, hours of studying the driving techniques of people like Hamilton, Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Senna, etc, lots of extra coaching, and lots of learning how to analyse their own performance at practice sessions for ways to improve. Since about race 20 both their performances have improved, and I think that’s because of the personal effort of those two drivers to improve their racing skills, not because they’ve cheated.

        1. Mick Schumacher is not a member of Ferrari Driver Academy.

          1. One of Schumacher’s team mates in the five-strong Prema squad, Ferrari Driver Academy member Robert Shwarzman, has also performed much more strongly in the last two race weekends.

            I now see that I had misread what was written. My thanks for correcting me.

    2. Yep!!! Or at least this shows Mick can make good use of a good car. I was watching a video on Mick’s rise today and they were saying Mick’s weak point at the start was his qualifying and he would make up places with a clean nose meaning his race craft is good. They added that he has put in a lot of testing on his qualifying which has improved.

    3. @phylyp I doubt the NDAs Dan’s signed would allow him to put up the evidence, no matter how blatant it was or how much his team sympathises with his perspective.

      1. @alianora-la-canta – bit of a flippant comment on my part, but what I meant was to share the evidence with the FIA for investigation, not literally put it there for us to see (we wouldn’t be able to interpret it for the most part, as well).

  4. Embarassing behaviour from Ticktum, he went full histerical last night on his Instagram account, accusing cheating, relpying to some guys who questioned his statements with “I’m a driver, you’re nobody” & stuff

    Than he cancelled all the posts.
    Grow up kid.

    1. Ticktum has had his head turned by Red Bull interest, even though he was never gonna have enough points for F1. Its distracted him. I think his drop in form is more significant the Schumacher’s upturn.

      Prema are already the best team in F3 anyway. Mick just needed to get into the groove. He has the talent, F4 shows that.

      Meanwhile Ticktum has form for losing his temper!

    2. I don’t believe Ticktum will end up in F1, he doesn’t seem to have the character and lets be honest there are better drivers in F1 now that look like losing their seats and just a few in F2 waiting their chance.
      And I agree the boy needs to grow up.

  5. While these comments do smack a little of “salt” (hate the phrase, but using it as was Ticktum’s description), I have to admit I felt a little suspicious of the sudden upturn in performance.

    I’m delighted to see Mick Schumacher doing well and hope it continues; perhaps he’s learnt the Schumacher approach of not just being a fast driver, but of getting the maximum out of the team as well. I hope there’s nothing illegal going on.

    As for Ticktum, I’d say his temperament needs an improvement if he’s to make it to Formula One.

    1. @ben-n

      perhaps he’s learnt the Schumacher approach of not just being a fast driver, but of getting the maximum out of the team as well.

      But how do we explain the sudden upturn in performance of his teammate Shwartzman?

    2. The funny thing is that he states that he isn’t a sore loser, but the whole “when I was winning I was the best driver, now that I’m losing they must have found something in their car” is the very definition of a sore loser.

  6. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    24th September 2018, 12:16

    Just drive into him then

  7. That is completely disgraceful from Ticktum, but I wasn’t expecting anything better from him. This weekend in qualifying he was not only dominated by the Prema drivers, but also by 2 of his teammates. If he wants to find a cause to this turnaround in the championship, he should start by taking a deep and long look at himself first. He knows the championship is escaping him, and he’s in panic mode right now.
    He’s only mentioning Schwartzman and Shumacher but Armstrong was just as fast as them in qualifying this weekend. His point about the first 2 being given preferential treatment compared to the 3 other is pure madness.

  8. I really hope this guy does make it to the top of F1. The sport could really do with a proper villain.

    1. Totally agree. And one thing it definitely doesn’t need is another son of an ex-F1 driver who brings nothing but a name.

      1. give him a chance, will ya?

      2. Who is currently beating said villain.

        1. plus ONE!

      3. Like Hill, Villeneuve and Rosberg?

    2. The sport could really do with a proper villain

      @jackysteeg: Missing Alonso already, are you? ;)

    3. @jackysteeg if these Schumacher genes are any good, we might get two of them. Michael was an all time great, but boy, was he a villain!

      1. @afonic, compared to some of the characters who have been involved in the sport over the years, Michael wasn’t that bad – there have been far, far shadier figures in the history of the sport.

        We had drivers, such as Jack Brabham, who were repeatedly accused of deliberately ramming other cars – there was a reason why he was called “Black Jack”. I believe Bruce McLaren accused Brabham of once deliberately breaking the wing mirror off his car so he could then later claim “I’m sorry, my wing mirror fell off so I couldn’t see you” when he ran McLaren off the track during one race.

        Equally, Clay Regazzoni was accused of deliberately running another driver off the track and killing him whilst in Formula 2 (and then, for good measure, when sued by the father of the deceased driver, accused the father of trying to cash in on his son’s insurance policy) – Fittipaldi has also alleged that Regazzoni tried to take him out of the title deciding US GP in 1974 by trying to shove him off the track and into the barriers.

        That said, that is nothing compared to Ricardo Londoño-Bridge, a Columbian driver who tried to enter F1 in 1981 (he was allowed to participate in test sessions, but denied a licence when Keke Rosberg deliberately made Ricardo crash into him). In that case, the phrase “criminal behaviour” is rather apt given that he made his money from trading cocaine as part of the Medellín cartel (most of his assets were eventually seized in anti-trafficking raids in 2000, and he himself was later murdered by a rival drugs cartel in 2009). In the grand scheme of things, Michael’s behaviour rather pales into insignificance compared to that…

  9. Autosport did a piece on this a few weeks ago. Essentially Prema have worked extremely hard on Schumacher’s one lap pace (had to write that as someone who had his heart broken regularly as a result of his dad’s devastating one lap pace) and it is now paying dividends. His upswing in race results is directly linked to the fact that he is now able to unlock more pace in qualifying and get closer to the front of the grid. The link is here if anyone wants to read the full story.

    1. @geemac So his teammate Schwartzman is unlocking more pace in qualifying at the exact same time then?

      1. @matthijs He is, he’s just finishing behind Schumacher so he isn’t getting the same headlines.

        His last 6 results are: Second, second, second, second, third, first.

        1. @geemac I didn’t make myself clear. I meant if Schwartzman is making an almost identical development, it can’t only be the driver.

          1. @matthijs It can if Robert is watching Mick and taking careful notes…

    2. Ticktum accusations are baseless, as his embarassing comments and followups to his (now deleted) post kinda show.

      Both Schumacher and Schwartman (But Mick particularly) already had great flashes of pace. What was obviously holding Mick back was his too much low average starting position, even if He hardly ever failed to make grounds in the races.

      Also I don’t think that the boost confidence of achieving first pole and win in Spa can be understated. Whatever improvement in setup and preparation for QLF, It’s not like it’s unavailable to all Prema drivers.

      I think that going from F1-talks to losing the F3 championship in the space of a few weeks prompted this lapse in judgement. But he has more pressing concerns, like Juri Vips outperforming him in the last few events.

    3. Great read. In F3 especially, high starting positions are incredibly important (maybe with the exception of Spa and Monza, but even then after the first couple of laps it’s p much done). Cars are very hard to overtake in, you have to be within 2 tenths really, almost on their bumper, even around Austria. Qualifying pace is so important in these cars, and he’s found a way to unlock it.

  10. Sounds salty but bear with him. Racing against the biggest name in the sport must be difficult. A whole bunch of very powerful people must be rubbing their hands for the Schumacher name to do well. In that context, everyone else is at a major disadvantage. I’m not saying they are doing something fishy about it, but it must be tough to compete against Mick and everything surrounding him. In the same way it must’ve been difficult to compete against Lance Stroll and all his backing before.

    1. Hm, I don’t know about that @fer-no65. I never got the impression that the likes of Ocon (racing against Verstappen, also a solid name), or say Magnussen (ok, sure his father has a name, but nothing like Schumacher) – racing against Sainz for example – would let that hold them back.

      So far I’d gotten the impression (until mid this season) that Mick was more hype than delivering the goods, with Raphs son showing more potential. But from the comments above it seems that Prema recognized a big issue with his lack of skill in extracting one lap pace for qualifying and since they worked on that, he is now delivering the goods. Just as his other teammate – maybe he had the same issues?

      To me all of this screams “salty” because his greatest chance of a comeback this year with Red Bull after his ban could be off the cards and oversshone from the surge of Mick Schumacher in the championship recently.
      I can understand how it must seem unfair to Tickum, and how it might even seem like a complot. But that kind of thinking is exactly what holds people back. Instead he should just focus on making the best of things, do as Hamilton does recently and come back stronger after every setback (especially since about mid last year) and be comfortable that he has done all he can to win.

  11. I think Ticktum is right in that most in motorsport would love for Schumacher to succeed because of his name, pedigree and his father’s current condition leaving an unfinished feeling. I also however think that, barring a few British motorsport journalists who love his Britishness and story of redemption, most would prefer Schumacher on the basis Ticktum did something truly appalling and it hasn’t really impeded his career. Just my guess.

    Either way, Prema is the best team, the richest team. Schumacher is not lacking for budget. If they hit on something to progress them, that would explain a lot. I don’t for one second believe anything is skewed in Schumacher’s favour from some insidious desire for him to win.

  12. If there was something underhand going on, surely the FIA would be investigating it. Now I know it’s in their interests to get a Schumacher back into F1, but the whole grid isn’t going to be complicit in getting him there, or allow the FIA to turn a blind eye. You can’t just give someone an illegal car and expect the rest to sit back, so I don’t think that’s what’s happening. The fact Schvartzman is also experiencing a rich vein of form also suggests it’s not some pro-Schumacher conspiracy. Ticktum needs to be careful with what he’s saying at this stage of his career. I know he’ll say he’s not insinuating anything, but the fact is that that’s precisely what he’s doing, and at this stage in a driver’s development, character and composure are being measured by those in the higher formulas. It’s why the likes of Ferrucci can destroy their prospects with a single act of impetuousness or bad sportsmanship.
    You can’t just go onto social media, make what is in effect an accusation, tell everyone else their opinion is invalid because of a lack of evidence and then not back your own up with evidence. You just come across as a bit of a prat.

    1. @bealzbob Even a sustained bit of clumsy social media use can damage a career – and at the absolute minimum, this is what Dan has done. If the initial post didn’t count, his response to the responses was. He’d have been better off leaving people chattering to themselves, if he couldn’t find anything respectful of the people who’d replied (or those he was discussing, for that matter) to say.

      1. Agreed Alianora,
        The subsequent responses were quite silly. Hopefully he’ll learn from it. Schumacher’s response kind of puts Dan to shame really

        “I do not listen to something like that,” Schumacher said.
        “The car is terrific to drive.”
        “We’ve evolved as a team, while others may have stopped at one point.”
        “I wish him [Ticktum] good luck that he stays in the title fight – but I focus on myself, that’s my key.”
        “Everyone evolves during the year, we never stop working and learning.”
        “After my win at Spa it was not easy, but we managed to be consistent, especially in qualifying, with good lap times.”

  13. Interesting tactics

  14. Legal or not, the Schumacher improvement seems to have come from the car, not an upturn in his own racing, given another team mate has apparently received the same boost.

    Yes there must be a lot of moneyed interest in Schumacher making it to Formula 1. The rest depends on how much you think ‘money’ and ‘sporting integrity’ naturally go together. Or how effective FIA is, or might wish to be in such circumstances.

  15. @david-br I agree. It has to be something linked to Prema, since both drivers benefit. If this upturn is indeed team-related en not driver-related, than Schumacher will have a tough year ahead in F2 or F1 with everyone following him closely.

    1. @matthijs
      Prema, both drivers?

      Goes to show how effective Ticktum’s rhetorics (regardless of whether he’s right or wrong) are: There are no less than 5 Prema drivers on the grid. However, 3 of them (Armstrong, Aron, Zhou) have had rather unspectacular results in recent races. And that poses a problem for Ticktum’s insinuations: Why would Prema boost Shwartzman’s performances (legally or illegally), but not Armstrong’s, when the latter is so much closer to Ticktum?

      1. It, ‘s not uncommon to only have a limited number of parts available for a raceweekend.

        1. Yeah, but why Shwartzman and not Armstrong? Armstrong was (and still is) in a much better position in the championship, much more likely to finish ahead of Ticktum and take valuable points from him, which would be perfectly aligned with Prema’s interests.
          That’s the aspect I struggle to make sense of, or rather: one of the aspects that lend themselves to the interpretation that Ticktum’s insinuations might be based on not much more than two cherry-picked examples.

          1. Not to mention the fact that Armstrong is being backed by Ferrari’s Driver Academy, and given that Prema have worked with a number of drivers backed by Ferrari, it would hardly make sense to antagonise the outfit that has been recruiting drivers for them.

            Another thing to note is that there had been some talk earlier this month suggesting that Red Bull were beginning to show interest in recruiting Mick to their young driver programme, although Marko has denied those claims.

            Now, if you had been pretty much the top dog in Red Bull’s Junior Team and, until now, the senior management had been making remarks about how it is a shame that they couldn’t promote you directly into F1, rumours that they were flirting with hiring a rival driver after he’s been going through a surge in performance would probably be quite unsettling. It puts his remarks about not having a famous name in a new light too, as it would seem to be a barbed comment aimed at Red Bull as much as to the external press (especially in light of how Red Bull have exploited Verstappen’s name and origins in their press campaigns).

  16. I don’t think there’s any cheating, but, let’s think this: What if Mick already have a contract with Ferrari, an academy driver. And how about Ferrari lending Prema with some really good engineers to help with the setup? isn’t something far fetched, it’s exactly what Stroll did with some Williams Engineers. So, is it cheat? well, technically i guess it isn’t; is it ethical?, that’s another question… But anyway, the thing here is: what’s the difference between Mick and a pay driver? he surely got some talent, i won’t take that from him, that being said, i’m sure there are some other drivers, with the same or more level of talent, who never gonna get the same sponsorship, because they’re not Schumacher. And that’s only if we talk about europe. How about Latin America? how many talented drivers never gonna make it outside of Karting in some regional championships because of the money? Clearly motorsport in any level is far from being a meritocracy

    1. @matiascasali Do you know who else is a Ferrari academy driver? Schwartzman (who is Russian). And Zhou (who is Chinese). And Armstrong (a New Zealander). All Prema drivers in F3. All Schumacher’s team mates.

      The FDA can hardly be faulted for being too (western) European biased.

      1. my point wasn’t about europe or any other place bias, it was about money (or potential money) bias. If you’re running an F4 team, and you have to decide between signing Mick or any other driver with the same level of talent, who would you choose? It’s obvious that having Mick onboard makes a lot easier to get sponsors, and that, in a way, is to be a pay driver.

        motorsport isn’t a meritocracy, and it never was, for that matter. Itsn’t like football, in this sport, money and connections rules, talent is a desirable trait in a driver, but not a deal breaker! just look at Ocon, one of the gifted driver for the next generation, and he’s without a seat, meanwhile, a mediocre driver (at best) like Ericsson’s been driving for how many seasons now?

        1. BTW: Russia and China are huge markets for FDA, not so latin america, Africa and the rest of Asia. can you see the trend? is it talent or marketing who weights more to make a decision?

          1. @matiascasali From what I’ve seen, Ferrari tends to have 2-3 drivers it genuinely sees as being able to get to F1 at any given time. These drivers, it hires from anywhere (for example, New Zealand is not and never has been a major Ferrari market, but Armstrong appears to be at Ferrari due to an expectation his talent will blossom).

            It also tends to have 2-3 drivers at a time who are there to prevent their colleagues from getting complacent, and for revenue. These tend to either bring a lot of money with them (Stroll, in his karting days – not sure if any of the current ones fit that mould) or come from substantial markets for Ferrari (currently, that would be Zhou). Schwartzman is showing himself to be exactly what Ferrari hopes happens to these people – drivers who start by being good ambassadors of their brand to a particular market and end up pushing their classmates like Armstrong (and potential classmates!) onto greater heights.

            So the question of whether talent or marketing is weighted greater at FDA depends on what, exactly, a given student’s role within FDA is expected to be.

          2. @alianora-la-canta i agree with you, but you’re missing my most important point: F1 isn’t (and if you ask me, never was) a meritocracy.
            Being talented is just a part, and not a big one, to get to F1. Is Ericsson better than Ocon? than Wherlein? if Mick Schumacher was Mick Heinz, would he be in the radar of F1, with his talent alone? Does his name attract more sponsors? i don’t doubt that Max Verstappen is really really gifted, but, how many gifted drivers like him have a family completely devoted to motorsport, with the monetary means to bankroll his path to F1 with an exclusive dedication? And i don’t complain and see the past with rose tinted glasses, because, F1 always been like that. Senna came from a massively wealthy family, as did Lauda or James Hunt. Fangio (and you can’t argue Fangio’s talent) wouldn’t made it to F1 if the government didn’t pay for his european career. Of course there are exceptions, but those are the fewer, in my opinion…

          3. @matiascasali, as an aside, with regards to Ericsson, there is an argument that, in terms of single lap pace, Wehrlein’s performance relative to Ericsson doesn’t look that great when you account for Ericsson’s weight disadvantage.

            At the end of the 2017 season, Wehrlein’s average advantage in qualifying trim was only 0.05s. However, it was also revealed that Sauber’s 2017 car was very marginal on weight, and because Wehrlein was a lighter and shorter driver, he could just about get down to the minimum weight requirement. Ericsson, by contrast, reportedly had an 8-10kg weight penalty for most, if not all, of that season compared to Wehrlein.

            When you take into account the sort of penalty that 10kg of additional weight has at most circuits, Wehrlein’s average advantage in qualifying is less than the weight penalty around most circuits – so Wehrlein’s relative performance to Ericsson starts looking less impressive when you start taking that into account.

  17. Ticktum seems like a graceless, angry chav. Not a special talent, and not the right temperament for motorsport. If he wasn’t British his career would be over already, but it soon will be anyway.

    1. @tflb I think the fact he’s a Red Bull student is more relevant than the part about him being British. Red Bull likes to see fiery personalities from its senior candidates. The trouble is that Dan has a propensity to overdo the fire and scorch his own career in the process.

  18. As a Schumacher fan, I can’t explain the joy this story has brought to me. Big smiles!- You know time’s are good when hollow accusations are being thrown in response.. Hope Mick gets a few fridays next year with a Ferrari engine. Will he win a wdc? If so will it be before Max V? Exciting times ahead!

  19. Maybe his sudden change of performance is actually linked to Prema’s qualifying modes and the way they deploy more power and gain at least 0.5s on the straights.
    Not surprised to see Ticktum is in the RBR junior drivers program though. He must have the soft skills that impressed Helmut Marko.

  20. Driving in circles
    24th September 2018, 16:34

    So if two drivers are cheating and he is the Quickest than he should have come third in all three races this weekend yet in reality he finished in eight, crashed and finished fourth so in reality he is simply a sore loser and he is worried that Schumacher will get his place at Toro Rosso…

  21. I guess it’s surprising to see Schumacher’s form improve so dramatically but is it that unbelievable? To insinuate that something underhanded is going on does smack of being a sore loser. Ticktum implies there’s something in the data, so if there is – share it? Probably would have a lot of respect for the guy if he just admitted Red Bull’s interest him went to his head and he got distracted and he’ll keep fighting on or whatever. Instead this just looks childish.

    Think Red Bull would do better to take an interest in Schumacher for the Toro Rosso seat over Ticktum, if he has the points to get the drive.

  22. In the Sunday morning race which Mick Schumacher won, Ticktum while locked in a battle for 7th or 8th put himself in a sandwich with a car closing in on either side, really novice error. Clear as day he was going to come a cropper and sure enough he did and the other two as well. Lost his front left. His end season decline is only surpassed by Schumachers rise. On the other hand his post race sour grapes is now the stuff of legend. Had serious temper issues which cost him dearly before, now he’s just adding to that by destroying his credibility. Let his driving do the talking just as MSC is doing.

  23. Such sudden upswing of form is not unheard of. There are plenty of examples in lower series as well as formula 1. Massa in 2008 and Vettel in late 2013 spring to mind.
    Even in lower formulae, I remember how Felix ‘Costa won suddenly everything in Formula 3.5 few years ago. However, he didn’t progress further. Vandoorne was the most dominant F2 champion ever but look what happened in the two seasons after that.

  24. Dan Tantrum strikes again

  25. Admittedly it is ‘interesting’. Schumacher looked average until the middle of this year… that sort of upturn in form is worthy of being remarked upon.

    But in your first term at Racing Driver PR School, you learn that you’re supposed to let someone else say that. Not say it yourself…

    1. @neilosjames Or, if you’re going to say it’s interesting, say how keen you are to learn what the secret is so you can adapt it for your own driving. Positive interest is generally healthy for a young driver… …negative interest just looks bitter, even if that’s not the intent.

  26. Whether this is true or not, there is an obscene amount of money to be made out of Mick’s name if he can move higher up in Motorsport.

    1. Just as it were a lot of money to be made with “Villeneuve” and “Brabham” names, back in the 90’s, right?

      1. @matiascasali

        You’ll find marketing has changed significantly since the 90s

        1. that’s right. But what you say about money to be made was true in the 90’s and it still is true today

  27. Disappointed that @keithcollantine has published what Ticktum had said – out of context – into a headline grabbing article.

    1. Yes, I must say that I feel the same way, the headline is too subtly misleading not to be done on purpose.

  28. Ticktum needs to look at himself first, as multiple times not only Prema, but other drivers were faster and better than him.
    The upturn can come from hard work, better setup or even psychologically rooted. The latter at Tictum is definitely is a weakness. Funnily brit media only mentions his main post, but the meltdown where he straight called anybody who is better than him a cheater, and his commenters nobodies, somehow not made into here or motorsport.com news…

    We all seen how even setup changes can benefit somebody, even in F1, or psychological advantage.

  29. I don’t know why it would be so unusual to see a change in performance through a season, particularly in the lower categories. Not everyone is a Verstappen who knows what he’s doing straight off the bat.

    I mean, look at George Russell in GP2. He didn’t have a sparkling start to the season as Norris did, but he’s getting things hooked up now.

    Drivers learn their craft, and improving through a season is what’s expected of any driver. I hope Dan finds the key that the Prema guys have, so they can give us a great fight to the title… and perhaps limit bringing his own development pace to the headlines.

  30. I agree with Ticktum that it is strange to see two midfield drivers suddenly dominating the field and two teammates who were previously up there with the frontrunners now back in the midfield. May be they switched cars or something like that.

    Since both drivers are now in front it isn’t only about the drivers but also about the cars. Just like it was in 2016 with Stroll and the same team.

  31. On the plus side; At least this pleb won’t get enough points for an F1 seat any longer.
    Perhaps that’s why he’s having a bit of a cry.

  32. This whole affair is embarrassing, Dan should gag his Girlfriend on social media and he should take a step back and consider why he isn’t leading anymore.

    Ticktum wasn’t near Schumacher at all in the race, meaning that there where cars between them, he was rattling behind all weekend, only to gain momentum at the end.

    For someone to suddenly increase the pace could be down to a number of reasons, maybe they did something wrong until now and just discovered it. That would explain 2 cars suddenly increase in pace. They are not miles ahead of the others.

  33. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    25th September 2018, 12:25

    If memory serves correctly, MSC senior didnt truly show his speed in cars until he got to Group C, and even then he made another enormous step in personal performance upon reaching F1.

    No surprise that MSC junior needed to find a groove and start to extract more out of himself.

    He will be a giant killer in F1 I think just like his dad was.

  34. Oh those wacky race car driving teenagers.

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