Super Formula Japan Logo #15
Dan Ticktum

"Winning driver of the year and the Macau GP certainly got the monkey off my back"

Dan Ticktum

Tweet direct to Dan

Driver bio

First Race Karts: Honda Cadet Bayford Meadows Winter Series 2008

First Race Cars: FIA F4 Brands Hatch Indy 2014

Hobbies: Football,skiing,composing music & playing the piano

Favourite circuit cars: Macau

Favourite meal: Penne all'Arrabbiata

Favourite drink: Cranberry Juice

Favourite music: House/hip hop/rap

Favourite subject while at school and/or university: Physics and Biology

Favourite thing to do when not racing: PS4, piano, gym

Motorsport hero: James Hunt / Ayrton Senna

Humility is not always present in young drivers but Dan doesn't pretend to be perfect. "Some people will know the mistakes I've made. I have changed my attitude massively and I cannot wait to prove that to everyone." A strong statement going into 2017 but the seventeen-year-old Briton is very clear and not lacking in confidence when he lays out his expectations for the coming season. "To win the European Formula Renault 2.0L Championship."

He has already come a long way since he started serious kart racing in 2008 even though he was the first in the family to go racing. "None of my family have ever raced. My father and I both have a great passion for cars and I'm sure if my dad had the opportunity I have when he was my age he would have raced too."

dan_2008_hs.jpg
Early success 2008

"I showed great interest in cars and racing and my dad recognised this. I first got into a kart at the age of 7."

"My father has to be the biggest support I've had both financially and mentally. It has sometimes been a difficult road but the hard work is starting to pay off. My Grandad also helped a lot in the very early stages of my kart career. He passed away earlier this year and I wish he were still here to see my journey blossom. He was a great support. Must mention my mother and three younger brothers who are my biggest fans!"

Beyond this season his aims are equally centred. "I want to get into F1 I can focus on winning the world championship once I'm there!"

That's not an unusual aim and Dan showed early on that he is a natural in a formula car as he remembers one of his best events. "My first race in cars in British FIA F4 in 2015 at Donington. I was quickest in both practices and qualified double pole and then went on to win both races. I had really good pace all weekend and even in the reverse grid race I made up a lot of places."

He has equally fond memories from his karting days. "In the WSK Euro Series 2014 whilst in Italy I started P6 and I knew my pace wasn't good enough to win. I went from P6 to P1 in the first lap and defended throughout the whole race, if anyone came past me I overtook them back and created a gap. In this race, I was 6 tenths off the pace and still finished 2nd. It was just a really fun race. Even though I wasn't fast."

dan_ticktum_hockenheim_2016.jpg
Hockenheim 2016

From 2016 he picks out Macau as the most memorable event. "The atmosphere is electric and the circuit is incredible. I finished P8 in Saturday's Qualifying Race. This was my first race ever in FIA F3 starting from the grid proper (Hockenheim I started from the pit lane)."

dan_2016.jpg
2016

"That was just the best track I've driven by far. I love how accurate you have to be with limits of the track. The best drivers can drive at 100% almost always with very few mistakes. All drivers can drive at 100% when required but what's great about Macau is that you have no run off so the drivers who are best can push 100% while remaining fully in control of the car and not hitting the walls."

dan_macau_2016_10.jpg
Macau 2016

"Most normal tracks have miles of run off so it doesn't matter if you make a mistake. At Macau however you'll damage the car if you make any mistakes."

dan_macau_2016_2.jpg
Macau 2016

For Dan, just being a race car driver isn't enough."I have to be honest, My favourite aspect of racing is definitely winning which is what makes me so driven. However that doesn't mean I don't enjoy working with my team to improve. Seeing a positive progression in my driving or the pace of the car is also very rewarding."

gepa_full_6449_gepa-19111799001.jpg
It doesn't get any bigger in F3 than winning the Macau Grand Prix - 2017

2017 was a great season for Dan considering that you are 'only as good as your last race' so his incredibly dramatic victory in the Macau Grand Prix. An incredible overtaking move on the brakes to get past both Lando Norris and Maximilian Gunther into Lisboa starting the second to last lap set up Dan Ticktum for third. Then when the leaders both crashed at the final corner the 18-year-old Briton took victory.

"Some people might say that the win is a bit lucky but I've got to say that I deserved it because of my pace through the weekend," asserted Ticktum. "Then there was that overtake, that was the move that did it for me."

gepa_full_2102_gepa-18111799203.jpg
Keeping it off the barriers - Macau 2017

Until the race, the cards had fallen against the Motopark driver who was robbed of a great grid position when the second qualifying session was red flagged while he was on a very quick lap leaving him 6th on the grid for the qualifying race. From there he started picking off places only to have the tyres go away and he slipped back to eighth but recorded the fastest lap of the race.

So that was where he started the 15 lap final. "The start in the qualifying race was pretty poor, I'd only done a couple of practice starts, In the final I did a bit better, not great but I held onto my place. There were a couple of full course yellows and restarts and I took opportunities where I could but there weren't many."

gepa_full_2859_gepa-17111799002.jpg
Between contrete and steel - Macau 2017

"I got up to fifth but I coming to the end of the race I knew that I was going to have to do something special if I was going to get a decent result. I was watching Lando as he was going after Max and just put myself in the position to make something of it if I could. I did a similar move I'm pretty sure last year and I knew what it would take."

"I'm pretty confident on the brakes and I have a marker for where my last place to brake is and I kept that in the peripheral as I went alongside. I braked, if I'd had to go any deeper I would have been in trouble but it was enough."

gepa_full_5656_gepa-17111799001.jpg
Tight - Macau 2017

"I thought, OK, the podium is not bad but then I couldn't believe the last corner, one into the wall going in and then as I came out there was another, I just couldn't believe it as I crossed the line, what a race."

gepa_full_5786_gepa-19111799000.jpg
The win, with the damaged cars just out of sight but debris in the track - Macau 2017

After Macau came the GP3 final in Yas Marina and Dan was fourth and third. The combination added momentum to his candidacy and in December he was anounced as the 29th winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award at the 2017 Autosport Awards in London.

"I had an amazing weekend in Macau and this has exceed that," enthused Dan. "I cannot put into words how proud I am right now to have won this award." Previous Award winners include 13-time GP victor David Coulthard, 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button and triple Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti.

"In 2017 I learnt how to extract the best out of the car when it isn't perfect. Which helped my communication skills with engineers. I would look to win F3 this year and hopefully get closer to my dream of F1," he says having set up a full F3 season with Motopark team for whome he won Macau. Winning driver of the year and the Macau GP certainly got the monkey off my back and this year with Motopark should be a good one."

In 2018 Macau was again the highlight of the season, he took pole position, victory in the qualifying race and then a faultless final race to secure his second Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix, the FIA F3 World Cup.

In 2017 Ticktum only led the race from the last corner to the flag after a difficult weekend. This time it was very different as the 19-year-old Briton commented when the Grand Prix was stopped to repair a badly damaged barrier. "Everything went perfectly, very positive this weekend, I seem to have found how to operate at 100% all the way,"

ap-1xh53yuph2111_news_0.jpg

The race was interrupted for the best part of an hour while the barrier was repaired, then restarted behind the safety car. Ticktum had already made a faultless original start and a perfect safety car restart so had never been headed. He did the same after the long break and once more from another safety car. He was perfect all the way, almost matching his fastest ever F3 qualifying lap at Macau as he opened up a 1.5 second lead.

ap-1xk5p9hh92111_news.jpg

"It was a dominant performance what I was preparing for. I don't think I've ever prepared as hard as I did for this race and it all worked out. In the final race a lot of variables thrown at me but I handled them."

"I can't count how many safety car restarts we had to do. It puts a lot of pressure on a driver here with such a long run down to the first corner. I can't remember a weekend when I've put it all together so well."

ap-1xhqkyta92111_news.jpg

"The car was absolutely perfect all weekend, it was so good and I can't thank Motopark enough for that. I've never been so involved in the set-up, felt so at one with the car as I did this weekend."

He had already completed an intense thirty-race FIA F3 European Championship, ending the 2018 season second in the points table. The Red Bull Junior could be proud of his four race victories and many more fine drives including those in the final weekend weekend at Hockenheim when troubled qualifying left him cutting through the pack into good points scoring finishes.

ap-1x6v4rgj12111_news.jpg

He started the weekend with an outside chance of taking the championship that he had led for a number of rounds in the second half of the year. The German event started well enough when he and the Motopark Dallara Volkswagen were third quickest in Free Practice, less that half a tenth off the best.

"Unfortunately qualifying just didn't come together, it was down to me and it just didn't happen," admitted Ticktum frankly. "The guys gave me a great car all weekend and in the races I showed what I could do with it. It was just unfortunate that I didn't get the best out of it in qualifying so we were coming from so far back. It was really unlike me but that is it."

ap-1x6jd26ww2111_news.jpg

"I really had to fight in the races and I think I managed to squeeze everything out of the car. I did a lot of overtaking, I enjoyed it. As I said I showed what I could do with the car but it was always going to be tough from where we were on the grid."

"Of course it's a shame I didn't win the championship. We did secure second which was the main thing this weekend and I'm happy about that."
Good times and great races

ap-1x6v4raxw2111_news.jpg

"I learnt a lot this year and there were plenty of high points. A few that come to mind are the win at Spa from tenth, winning at Silverstone and leading the championship. The team were great and we can be proud of what we've done," he concluded.