Former Williams and Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum believes he can show his personality more in Formula E than in the “squeaky clean” world of Formula 1.
The 22-year-old was let go by Williams in the summer of 2021 after he admitted he “opened my mouth far too many times and said things I shouldn’t have said”, referring to comments criticising Nicholas Latifi’s performances with the team, which left his chances of a seat in Formula 1 “pretty much gone” from then on.
Ticktum has since made the move to Formula E, and he said he is enjoying the chance to drive in a series which breaks from the norms of motorsport – and he thinks it’s “ridiculous” that Formula 1 doesn’t enable drivers to show off their personalities more often.
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“It’s relatively disruptive; it fits my character a little bit,” Ticktum said to Motor Sport Magazine.
“I feel like we’re all professionals in this paddock. Everyone is allowed to have their identity a bit more than when you’re on the F1 ladder, when you have to be squeaky clean and can’t say anything, really.
“Especially in our society, and I’ve got a real problem with that, to be honest – I think it’s ridiculous.”
The Formula E field is awash with former Formula 1 drivers, with former Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi being the latest to make his debut in the all-electric series, although he struggled at the back in both opening rounds in Saudi Arabia at the weekend.
Ticktum admitted that drivers need to balance how much they wear their hearts on their sleeves as the sponsors involved in motorsport don’t wish to be associated with any controversy, but he feels a shift is coming in how drivers will be able to express themselves in the future.
“All the fans ask for [is] characters and people who are different, and the big corporations who put the money in ask for the opposite, so it’s obviously a bit of a balance – you’ve got to please both,” said Ticktum.
“At the end of the day, I feel like eventually, society will allow characters to express themselves a bit more, but at the moment I’ve still got to – unfortunately – keep the filter on opinions and things.
“I’ve got to keep my head down and establish myself, but Formula E allows you to create your own identity – the more results you get, the more ammunition you’ve got to say what you want.”
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