Dan Ticktum says he is still sour after being dropped from the Red Bull junior programme last year.
After winning the illustrious Macau Grand Prix in 2017 and 2018, along with finishing runners up in the 2018 FIA Formula 3 championship, Ticktum was drafted into the Team Mugen Super Formula outfit for 2019.
Team Mugen had been the same team that current AlphaTauri F1 driver Pierre Gasly drove for in 2017 before making his final step up into Formula One. A similar path towards an F1 seat was expected from Ticktum who had already proven his natural ability on the European racing circuit.
However, after scoring just a single point in three races, Ticktum lost both his Mugen drive and Red Bull backing.
Though since his fall out with Red Bull, Ticktum has secured a development test driver role with British F1 team Williams as well as a Formula 2 seat with DAMS.
Nonetheless, the 20-year-old admits that he is still annoyed by the circumstances that ultimately ceased his relationship with Red Bull.
“There’s all sorts of speculation and the team saying, ‘He needs to get used to Japan, he needs to get used to the tracks there’, but at the end of the day it’s a track and a race car, you know?” Ticktum told Motorsport.com. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s in Japan or on the moon.
“I didn’t feel like the team had a lot of confidence in me, let’s say that. But there we go. It is a bit strange for a team not to have confidence in a driver that Red Bull put in an F1 car.
“But it’s all done – I’ve learned a lot from it. People are going to ask, ‘Am I still sour about being dropped?’ And yeah, of course I am, but I’m in a very good position now.”
Ticktum also blamed Team Mugen for his poor Super Formula efforts, saying that the team failed to get up to speed with the new car.
“The team had a very strong set-up with the previous-generation car, and the testing at Suzuka I did was not too bad,” he said.
“We were looking pretty good, and making good progress. And then when we got the new car [the SF19] it became apparent very quickly that to set it up in the right window was very, very difficult – the set-up window was very narrow, so I guess our team applied the similar sort of baseline to the new car and it just didn’t work at all to start off with.
“I have to say I didn’t feel they reacted enough in the testing and make big enough changes.”
Story source: Motorsport.com