Dan Ticktum was the hero for reigning FIA Formula 2 Teams’ Champions DAMS as he scored his first podium in the series in the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race at the Red Bull Ring.
The Brit showed stellar pace all weekend and backed up a fifth-placed finish in the feature race to end the weekend covered in champagne after his third-placed finish.
Two top results leaves Ticktum just seven points off current championship leader Callum Ilott after one round but there wasn’t such fortune for his Indonesian teammate Sean Gelael, who retired from both races with mechanical problems.
“This was a very strong weekend. The real positive is I still have a lot left in myself,” said Ticktum. “The pace was pretty good across both races and I think I managed the tyres quite well. In the Sprint Race there wasn’t a lot of degradation and the multiple safety car periods let everyone cool down, maybe if it was a more normal race the guys ahead would have struggled.
“But still this was a good start for us, we just need to keep our philosophy and we should be even better next week with the softer tyres.”
Gelael added, “It was a frustrating weekend for me and the team. We’ve shown good pace since testing and unfortunately we had this problem from the end of Free Practice.
“I believe the car is competitive, Dan showed this as well fighting for the podium, but I’m just disappointed we couldn’t deliver the result. The team is working well, we tried everything but this issue seems to be out of our control. Hopefully next weekend we’ll have both cars running in the points.”
Ticktum’s 20 points leaves DAMS fifth in the teams’ championship and managing director François Sicard is just happy to be racing once again.
“We’re delighted to be back racing again, the whole team was a bit like lions in a cage eager to get going,” said Sicard. “Unfortunately, Sean’s weekend was ruined by technical issues. We changed the majority of the parts on Saturday night but we still could not find the problem.
“F2 is working closely with us to find a solution, which we are grateful for. But Sean’s attitude has been remarkable, he’s been very supportive and I hope we will be able to show his ability soon.
“The big positive of the weekend is Dan’s podium, he drove two very mature races, especially as he is a rookie and stopped racing in the middle of last year. We have a day off on Monday and then we will begin preparations for the second round where we will try to come back stronger.”