Ticktum joins F2 grid with DAMS alongside Gelael for 2020 season
Former Red Bull junior Daniel Ticktum will move to FIA Formula 2 (F2) Championship for 2020 alongside Sean Gelael at DAMS.
Ticktum will be making a full-time racing return after being axed by Red Bull this year from the Super Formula series. The British racer has competed in handful events then after but will progress to F2 in 2020 with 2019 title-winning DAMS outfit.
Partnering the British driver will be Indonesia's Gelael, who ends his time with Prema and moves to the French outfit for his fifth full year in F2/GP2 after starting out in 2015 in a limited races. It bodes for an all-new line-up in 2020 for DAMS.
Its 2019 driver Nicholas Latifi will be stepping up to F1 with Williams in 2020, while McLaren junior Sergio Sette Camara could move to IndyCar after not being named even in the entry list for the post-season F2 test at Yas Marina, starting on Thursday.
"It’s an honour to be joining DAMS in F2 for the 2020 season," said Ticktum. "Having competed with them in GP3 in 2017, I’m looking forward to being back with the team and continuing to build on those successes.
"By winning the teams’ title this year, DAMS has again shown that they are one of the best outfits out there. Francois and his team have a reputation in the F1 paddock for producing top drivers as well as for offering them the best support to get them to F1.
"I can’t wait to get started later this week in Abu Dhabi." At the same time, Gelael stated: "I’m really humbled that DAMS has accepted me as one of their drivers, especially after the year they’ve had winning the teams’ championship and with the tough driver market.
"Obviously, we’ll be looking to repeat that next season although it’s going to be challenging. We have big changes with the introduction of the 18-inch wheels, but we’ve got a great bunch of people that believe in their drivers."
Co-team bosses Gregory and Olivier Driot added: "We are delighted to welcome Sean Gelael and Dan Ticktum to DAMS. Next season we will have a great mix in our driver pairing, with the significant experience of Sean in the year of a big technical change for F2 which will switch to 18-inch wheels.
"His background will allow us to have a reference and will provide us with good feedback, and we wish to help him get the results he deserves. With Dan we are investing in a rookie who we wish to prepare as quickly as possible.
"We know he has raw speed, demonstrated with his two Macau Grand Prix wins and being vice champion in European F3. He raced successfully with us in GP3 for three rounds and we also tested him in F2 which went very well.
"In a way it is like he is coming back to the team, even if it was on a temporary basis before. I look forward to seeing them on track in DAMS’ colours." The team is on a high after two consecutive years of F1 graduates with Latifi and Alexander Albon.
2020 F2 line-up so far:
Prema: Mick Schumacher & Robert Shwartzman
HWA Racelab: Artem Markelov & Giuliano Alesi
ART Grand Prix: Marcus Armstrong
UNI-Virtuosi Racing: Callum Ilott
DAMS: Daniel Ticktum & Sean Gelael
The Day 1 entry list for F2 test goes:
[Image courtesy: DAMS] [Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]