Ticktum cleared for F2 qualifying after test scare

Jon Wilde
Dan Ticktum

Dan Ticktum has been cleared to compete in Friday’s Formula 2 qualifying after missing the morning practice session due to an inconclusive COVID-19 test result.

The 21-year-old Londoner was forced to sit out practice on day one of the Belgian Grand Prix race weekend at Spa-Francorchamps while he awaited the result of a re-test.

But in between practice and qualifying, there was good news for Ticktum as a brief statement from Formula 2 said: “We can confirm that DAMS F2 driver Dan Ticktum’s re-test is negative and he is therefore fit to take part in the remainder of Round 7 at Spa-Francorchamps.”

F2 is continuing on its revised schedule that has condensed the calendar after the season was delayed for several months due to the global health pandemic.

No F2 driver is yet reported to have contracted the virus, but F1’s Sergio Perez missed both race weekends at Silverstone for the British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix after he returned a positive result.

As part of the FIA’s regulations, all personnel entering the paddock on race weekends must be tested every five days and those who return inconclusive results are restricted from entering the paddock until their result is negative.

Ticktum is currently 10th in the drivers’ championship, recording his first win in the series at Silverstone earlier this month.

At the same circuit subsequently, he threatened over the team radio to crash into rival Louis Deletraz – something he had previously done in 2015 when colliding with Ricky Collard.

Ticktum later claimed on social media that his words had been “taken out of context” and he was simply referring to what could have happened had he not given Deletraz enough space.

DAMS has already brought in a replacement driver for the weekend in Juri Vips, with the Estonian standing in for Indonesia’s Sean Gelael who suffered back injuries in an incident at Barcelona two weeks ago.

Vips was 17th of the 20 drivers who ran in free practice, with HWA Racelab’s Giuliano Alesi failing to make it out on track.

Fastest time was set by Robert Shwartzman, with the Russian in the PREMA Racing car closely followed by Carlin’s Yuki Tsunoda who was recently linked with an AlphaTauri drive in F1 potentially for next year.

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