Axed Red Bull driver Ticktum joins DAMS with Gelael for F2 2020

Tom Errington
Axed Red Bull driver Ticktum joins DAMS for F2 2020
Axed Red Bull driver Ticktum joins DAMS for F2 2020

Former Red Bull Formula 1 junior and double Macau Grand Prix winner Dan Ticktum will move into Formula 2 with DAMS in 2020, alongside category stalwart Sean Gelael.

The move will result in Ticktum's first full-time campaign since he was dropped by Red Bull and lost his Super Formula seat in June - he later completed two rounds of the Formula Regional European Championship.

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Ticktum recently stated that there he has had interest from multiple F1 teams about joining another junior programme, but said he could quit motorsport if a path to F1 was closed.

Gelael, who has raced in GP2/F2 since 2015, and Ticktum will both take part in the F2 Abu Dhabi test on 5-7 December - the same venue where Ticktum made his F2 race debut last year with Arden.

Ticktum's DAMS move means he returns to the team where he completed three GP3 rounds in 2017.

"It's an honour to be joining DAMS in Formula 2 for the 2020 season," said Ticktum.

"Having competed with them in GP3 in 2017, I'm looking forward to being back with the team and continuing to build on those successes.

"By winning the teams' title this year, DAMS has again shown that they are one of the best outfits out there.

Axed Red Bull driver Ticktum joins DAMS for F2 2020
Axed Red Bull driver Ticktum joins DAMS for F2 2020

"Francois [Sicard, team boss] and his team have a reputation in the Formula 1 paddock for producing top drivers, as well as for offering them the best support to get them to F1 - I can't wait to get started later this week in Abu Dhabi."

Gregory and Olivier Driot, who took over running DAMS after their father, team founder Jean-Paul, died earlier this year, said: "We are delighted to welcome Sean Gelael and Dan Ticktum to DAMS.

"Next season we will have a great mix in our driver pairing, with the significant experience of Sean in the year of a big technical change for F2, which will switch to 18-inch wheels.

"His background will allow us to have a reference and will provide us with good feedback, and we wish to help him get the results he deserves.

"With Dan, we are investing in a rookie who we wish to prepare as quickly as possible.

"We know he has raw speed, demonstrated with his two Macau Grand Prix wins and being vice-champion in European F3 [in 2018].

"He raced successfully with us in GP3 for three rounds and we also tested him in F2, which went very well [in early 2018 as a late replacement for the ill Nicholas Latifi, pictured above]."

DAMS won the F2 teams' championship in 2019 with Latifi and Sergio Sette Camara.

The former will graduate to F1 with Williams in 2020 and the latter has been linked to an IndyCar switch alongside an new F2 deal.

The full entry list for the Abu Dhabi test has now been revealed. Notable entries include Nikita Mazepin testing for Carlin and Luca Ghiotto driving for Trident.

Euroformula Open champion Marino Sato will also test for Trident and Autosport understands he will race for the team next year.

Mazepin will test on all three days but is not expected to race for Carlin next year.

Ghiotto will drive as a benchmark and has recently signed to compete in GT racing for R-Motorsport.

Several F3 drivers will try F2 machinery, with Yuki Tsunoda running for Carlin and Pedro Piquet taking part with the Sauber Junior Team.

Felipe Drugovich and Niko Kari will test for MP Motorsport and Campos Racing.

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