Dan Ticktum has branded motorsport “very political and quite unjust” and admits he has “probably blown my chances” of racing in Formula 1.
Ticktum has been the most controversial figure on the ladder to F1 since he received a two-year ban with the second year suspended for deliberately crashing into a rival during an MSA Formula (now British F4) race at Silverstone in 2015.
He returned to Red Bull’s junior programme when started racing in late-2016 and went on to win the Macau Grand Prix twice and finish as runner-up to Mick Schumacher in the 2018 European Formula 3 season.
Ticktum tested for Red Bull’s F1 team and looked like a serious contender for an eventual grand prix move but an unsuccessful switch to Japan in 2019 to race in Super Formula quickly led to his exit from Red Bull’s programme in 2019.
He found his way onto the 2020 Formula 2 grid and earned a place in Williams’ F1 young driver programme but split with Williams halfway through the 2021 season, a fact that only emerged after he mocked Williams F1 driver Nicholas Latifi online.
Ticktum now believes his chances of graduating to F1 are over as he’s not a contender for the only realistically vacant seat on the grid at Alfa Romeo alongside Valtteri Bottas.
Asked after Sunday’s F2 feature race at Monza in support of the Italian Grand Prix to explain his split from Williams, Ticktum said: “I can’t give details on why we parted ways. There are a number of reasons, to be honest, it’s not my place to discuss.
“However, there wouldn’t have been a drive for me next year anyway with Latifi extending his contract.
“I don’t know how to answer this one really. Obviously, it’s very disappointing. My chances of getting to Formula 1 are pretty much gone, that’s the reality, unfortunately.
“Our sport is very political and quite unjust. The best drivers or the most talented sometimes don’t get to the top.
“Whether that’s my fault or not…yeah, I’ve opened my mouth far too many times and said things I shouldn’t have said. But I am who I am.
“I sort of don’t quite fit the modern Formula 1 driver mould, which is pretty depressing but it’s life.
“I’m pretty sad to have parted ways with Williams. Never say never, I’m a very fast driver, maybe there’ll be a way back into Formula 1 one day but it ain’t looking promising.”
Ticktum suggests if he cannot find a professional contract in motorsport this year that lets him “win races and earn a lot of money” he will probably stop racing.
Though he has often been defiant in the face of criticism about his conduct, he admitted at Monza that he has created problems for himself.
“I don’t know many other young drivers who get booted out of two programmes,” Ticktum said.
“Sounds harsh, but that’s what’s happened. Whether it was completely justified on both occasions I can still argue it. There we go.
“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 every day. But sadly, I believe I’ve probably blown my chances now.
“I don’t know what I’m going to end up doing next year. We’ll see where I end up.
“Hopefully I get some good opportunities and I’m sure I can be very valuable either to another F1 team or someone over the pond, we’ll see.”
Ticktum currently sits fourth in the drivers’ championship having claimed his sixth podium of the year on Sunday at Monza, a race he believed he could have won if there wasn’t a late race safety car.
Instead, he finished third behind championship leader Oscar Piastri and Guanyu Zhou.
That has left Ticktum 43 points behind Piastri with three events (nine races) remaining.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Ticktum. “But if you have one very strong weekend and score over 40 points you’re pretty much back there.
“The gap to Oscar is pretty sizeable now. Three races is time but it’s not enough I don’t think. I’m never going to give up. I’ll always do the best I can.
“I don’t think where I am in the championship is reflective of how good myself and the car has been.
“Drivers always moan and complain about bad luck but I talk the truth and the reality is I’ve quite had a lot of it this year, so that hasn’t helped. We’ll see.”