Williams has signed former Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum as one of the development drivers in its academy.
Ticktum was dropped by Red Bull during 2019 after failing to gain an FIA Super License, which led to his being replaced in Japan’s Super Formula by Pato O’Ward. Having gained Formula 1 experience for Red Bull during tests earlier this year, the two-time Macau Grand Prix winner has now been added to the Williams academy and will conduct simulator work as well as being fully immersed in the team during two grands prix weekends.
“It is a privilege to be joining the Williams Racing Driver Academy, especially given Williams’ incredible heritage in our sport,” Ticktum said. “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.”
Ticktum’s chances of gaining a Super License were hurt when he was given a two-year ban – one of which was suspended – in 2015 for deliberately crashing into a rival behind the Safety Car when fighting for the MSA Formula championship.
Having since finished second to Mick Schumacher in the 2018 European Formula 3 championship, the 20-year-old has already been confirmed as racing for DAMS in FIA Formula 2 next season, taking one of the seats vacated by new Williams race driver Nicholas Latifi. Deputy team principal Claire Williams says Ticktum’s victories at Macau highlight his talent as she sees big potential in him.
“I am delighted that Dan, another exciting young British talent, has joined the Williams Racing Driver Academy,” Williams said. “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.”
After Latifi’s promotion to a race seat, Ticktum joins 2019 W Series champion Jamie Chadwick in the Williams driver academy.