Daniel Ticktum: “It was pretty frustrating as the pace was so clearly there”

Daniel Ticktum - Motopark - Zandvoort
Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Daniel Ticktum was left frustrated after failing to convert either of his two pole positions at Zandvoort into race victories, especially as the British racer felt he had the pace on board his Motopark car throughout the weekend.

After finishing where he started in race one, fifth, he started Saturday’s second race from the front of the field after dominating the second Qualifying session, while his second fastest time in that session enabled him to start at the front for Sunday’s finale.

“It was pretty frustrating as the pace was so clearly there,” said Ticktum. “The best driver in the best car and that showed with the double pole. Unfortunately we couldn’t convert that into a couple of wins.

“I got a damaged car in Race 2 and jump start penalty in Race 3.”

Ticktum found himself immediately under attack at the start of race two from both Ralf Aron and Mick Schumacher, with the Prema Theodore Racing drivers giving him the squeeze heading into turn one.  Aron nudged the Red Bull Junior into Schumacher, with Ticktum suffering a bent pushrod on his suspension in the incident.

Ultimately, Ticktum dropped behind both Marcus Armstrong and Guan Yu Zhou to run fourth, but as he continued to push with a injured car, he made a mistake at the chicane that allowed Alex Palou through, while Ferdinand Habsburg then capitalised on the delay and a great tow to pass him around the outside of turn one to take fifth.

“From pole for Race 2 I got a good start but Aron got a better one and that left me to deal with an optimistic Schumacher,” said Ticktum.  “He hit me and I ended up with an oval wheel and a bent pushrod.

“I did what I could with the car and I didn’t know how much damage we had. With hindsight I probably should have settled for fourth but I was pushing all I could and we ended up sixth but that’s OK, not too bad considering the way the car was damaged.”

Ticktum’s Sunday race was compromised right from lights out, when a clutch issue caused him to jump the start, with the Briton feeling the team needs to address the problem that has been an issue at times during the season.

“In Race 3 this morning it was just the clutch again,” said Ticktum, who stalled in race two at the Norisring and was hit from behind by Ameya Vaidyanathan.  “When the clutch gets hot you have a window of about a second to either get fully on the clutch or stall and I just moved about a tenth of a second before the light. Got the penalty and that was it really.

“It´s a problem, it’s not bad luck, it’s not really driver error either really. We don’t have the right procedure sorted in our team, the others are also having the same issue so we need to work on that as a team.”