Dan Ticktum blasts F1 drivers who ‘don’t belong’ and should be replaced by FE drivers

Michelle Foster
Dan Ticktum speak at a Formula E race. Diriyah January 2022.

Formula E drivers Dan Ticktum and Jake Dennis speak in the pit lane ahead of the race. Diriyah January 2022.

Former F1 hopeful Dan Ticktum says there are a few F1 drivers who he feels don’t belong in the sport, and a few Formula E drivers who deserve to take their places.

Ticktum turned to Formula E in 2021 after he was dropped from the Williams junior programme, that coming in the wake of his criticism of Nicholas Latifi during a Twitch stream.

The controversial driver signed with the NIO 333 FE Team, racing against past F1 drivers Stoffel Vandoorne, Antonio Giovinazzi, Jean-Éric Vergne and Pascal Wehrlein to name a few.

But while Vandoorne, a former McLaren driver and Mercedes reserve, won that year’s title, Ticktum managed just one top-ten result.

This season he’s up to nine points while Wehrlein, a former Sauber F1 driver and Ferrari development driver, is leading the standings.

Ticktum reckons such is the talent in Formula E, most of the drivers “bar a couple” could compete in Formula 1, but there are also a couple of F1 drivers who shouldn’t be in the sport.

“I think pretty much every driver bar a couple could easily be in Formula 1,” he told the Independent.

“Obviously, a lot of them have been there and should have been for longer.

“When you get to this level, we’re all let’s say above 99 percent of the most talented, but if someone turns up who’s 98.7 percent with £10m, then that helps, and they can probably do more or less as good a job as the guy that he’s booted out.

“I feel like Formula E is one of the only categories in the world where all drivers are paid as real professionals and the fact that we’re all paid speaks for itself really.

“There’s a fair few Formula 1 drivers who I don’t think should be there, and I think there are other drivers in Formula E who should be there instead.

“When I qualify near the back or make a small mistake, it’s like ‘well I’m at the back, but I’m at the back by half a tenth or whatever’.

“We’re all so close, so it’s not as demeaning if you finish in the back of Formula E, compared to another category.”

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Ticktum admitted he blew his F1 chances

Dropped by Red Bull and then two years later by Williams, Ticktum conceded back in 2021 that he’d blown his shot at a Formula 1 race seat.

While there were few doubts about the driver’s speed, his antics on and off the track didn’t sit well with his various team bosses.

Comments about his 2018 Formula 3 European championship title rival Mick Schumacher were followed by criticism of his then Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi, both doing down like a lead balloon.

And given that the Briton had already been given a second chance by Red Bull following his two-year ban from motor racing for purposely overtaking several cars behind a Safety Car to crash into a rival during a MSA formula race, and a third by Williams after his Red Bull axing, it was, as Christian Horner put it, “up to these guys to grab that with both hands”.

Ticktum did not and admitted his “chances in Formula 1 are pretty much gone, I don’t know many other young drivers that get booted out of two programmes. Sounds harsh but that’s what’s happened.

“Whether it was completely justified on both occasions, I can still argue it, but there we go. Like I said earlier, I haven’t been an article that seems to be massively employable in Formula 1, unfortunately.

“Yeah, I’m changing, and I believe I am getting closer to that article everyday, but sadly I believe I’ve probably blown my chances now.”

Ticktum turned to Formula E, signed by NIO 333 FE Team for the 2021/22 season where he finished P21. This year he’s 16th with nine points on the board.