French FIA Formula 2 team DAMS have confirmed Sean Gelael and Dan Ticktum as their drivers for the 2020 season in their bid to defend the Teams’ title they won in 2019.
They replace the Formula 1 bound Nicholas Latifi and Brazilian Sérgio Sette Câmara whose future is still unclear with Indycar outfit Dale Coyne Racing potentially looking at offering Sette Camara a 2020 drive.
Gelael has raced with the renowned PREMA team in F2 for the past two seasons after spending his rookie year with the outgoing Arden squad.
Despite the PREMA team behind him, the Indonesian only managed five points-scoring finishes in 2019 and will be replaced by reigning Formula 3 champion Robert Shwartzman at the Italian team.
Speaking of his appointment by the team Gelael commented, “I’m really humbled that DAMS has accepted me as one of their drivers, especially after the year they’ve had winning the teams’ championship and with the tough driver market there is.
“Obviously, we’ll be looking to repeat that next season although it’s going to be challenging. We have big changes with the introduction of the 18-inch wheels, but we’ve got a great bunch of people that believe in their drivers.“
20-year-old Brit Ticktum has had a heavily-publicised few years in junior single-seaters and it didn’t get any easier in 2019 as he was dropped by the Red Bull and lost his seat in Super Formula after just three rounds.
But his speed and driving talent cannot be denied as a two-time, back-to-back Macau GP winner and to be selected for the Red Bull driver program, to begin with, shows real talent.
“It’s an honour to be joining DAMS in Formula 2 for the 2020 season,” commented 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.
“François 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.”
The jury will be out as to whether Ticktum can hold back the attitude and let his driving do the talking.
Team owners Gregory and Olivier Driot are happy with their line up and are confident of their choice, “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.
“He raced successfully with us in GP3 for three rounds and we also tested him in F2 which went very well. In a way, it is like he is coming back to the team, even if it was on a temporary basis before. I look forward to seeing them on track in DAMS’ colours.”