Williams keeps Ticktum on as development driver

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Dan Ticktum will remain a part of the Williams Driver Academy for 2021, being announced as one of the team’s development drivers on the eve of the Formula 1 season.

The 21-year-old joined Williams’ ranks last year as he moved into Formula 2, picking up a win and coming 11th in the points in his rookie season. He is racing in the championship again in 2021, and has moved from the DAMS team to Carlin.

“I am very happy to be continuing my partnership with Williams as development driver,” said Ticktum.

“It will be fun to get more time trackside this year as last year was quite difficult, so it will be nice to get more involved with the team at the track. I am looking forward to continuing my support in the sim, and I am very focused for this year.

“I still have a lot of work to do as my season hasn’t started but I am privileged and very happy as always to be representing Williams.”

The Williams Driver Academy logo will appear on Ticktum’s car and in his garage in F2, after it being absent in pre-season testing amid speculation he hadn’t been retained by the F1 team.

Williams team principal Simon Roberts said: “It’s great to be continuing our working with Dan in his role as development driver.

“He is a very exciting young driver with plenty of talent, which is evidenced by his back-to-back successes in Macau along with his impressive rookie season in F2 last year.

“We got to see first-hand his skills in the simulator and Dan played an important role in helping with car development, along with becoming a well-respected member of the team. We look forward to watching him grow and develop in 2021.”

Ticktum had spent many years with the backing of Red Bull and as a key part of its simulator driver roster, but after working his way through Formula Renault and Formula 3, where he came second to Mick Schumacher in the European championship in 2018 and won the Macau Grand Prix twice, he made it to Super Formula and struggles there got him dropped by the brand midway through 2019.

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2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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8 comments on “Williams keeps Ticktum on as development driver”

  1. That’s a shame. Williams had a chance to start again with a clean slate, and say that the new management team don’t condone Ticktum’s behaviour.

  2. I honestly don’t understand why Daniel Ticktum is still around in motorsport. In my opinion, he should have been banned for life for that MSA Formula incident at Silverstone in 2015 with Ricky Collard. Crashing into a rival deliberately is bad enough, and for me, incidents like Schumacher in Jerez should result in a one year ban. Admittedly that was a heat-of-the-moment thing, and it wasn’t too dangerous a crash, so a one-year ban is sufficient rather than a ban for life (and if he ever did it again, it should have been a life ban). But Dan Ticktum overtook around ten cars under the safety car to crash into his rival deliberately, which was not heat-of-the-moment, and was incredibly dangerous. The fact that so many racing teams, including Red Bull and Williams, have employed him is disgraceful.

    1. I mean, I get that he’s quick and what not, so I understand why he’s still around.

      Why Williams would associate their name with his given it’s just poor PR, I don’t know. Maybe he’s paying a handsome fee to them for it? Plenty of good F2 drivers without baggage that could do just a good a job as him, so I doubt it’s that.

      The problem with Ticktum is that he’s pretty irredeemable PR-wise at this point. After this incident he’s had several moments where he’s made arrogant and just dumb comments both on radio and in interviews to the point where you find yourself actively rooting against the guy, wanting him to do poorly or get overtaken. I don’t see this ever changing. He’s in the same situation as Marzipan as far as I’m concerned, I just can’t ever see myself being happy after a Ticktum podium or race win.

      1. @aiii I think he is much worse than Mazepin because, while Mazepin does get into too many incidents and is fairly dangerous, he has never deliberately caused a crash (at least I don’t think he has). Daniel Ticktum’s deliberate crash, and his potential to do it again, means that he is far more dangerous, and when he races, people’s lives are much more at risk in an already dangerous sport.

    2. You would think it’s probably last chance saloon for him this season at top level single seater. He has had enough chances, and as you say behaviourally he has had more than most. He’s in a good team with a full season ahead of him. If he doesn’t finish top 3 in the standings (and tbh I don’t think he will…) then I think he’ll peter out and head elsewhere. His problem then becomes the rap sheet he has built up along the way. That has to catch up with you at some point. Other teams will definitely think twice before going near him.

  3. aka “we don’t want to find a replacement”

    Really don’t see the draw from teams to keep this guy around. The Silverstone incident should have been a clear warning. His demeanour when in Super Formula was just crass too.

    Reply moderated
  4. Most hated driver still retained. He should quit racing and attend anger management classes.
    At least he doesn’t break his stuff when he rages over Call of Duty.

  5. I can only assume his dad is really rich. But not as rich as Mazepin’s dad.

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