Red Bull junior Ticktum's test absence a legacy of racing ban
Red Bull protege Dan Ticktum’s ineligibility to take part in Formula 1 testing is a legacy of his ban from racing, FIA race director Charlie Whiting has explained.
Ticktum won last year’s Macau GP and currently lies second in the European Formula 3 Championship.
He has also competed in GP3 and Japan’s Super Formula category, and is widely regarded as being qualified to test in terms of experience and ability - but cannot yet obtain an International A licence from the FIA.
Red Bull had planned to run him in Hungary this week, but has opted to utilise simulator driver Jake Dennis instead.
The International A licence is what is required to take part in an official F1 test and as of 2018 a driver needs 14 superlicence points to qualify for the licence.
To help that process there are bonus points available on a one-off basis, with up to five points awarded at the discretion of their national governing body and five points just for completing 80% of two qualifying championships.
That means they need only four superlicence points from championship results to qualify but Whiting explained that “unfortunately” Ticktum “simply didn’t qualify”.
“The points system was introduced to bring everything not only to a required standard, but you knew exactly where you stood,” said Whiting.
“Superlicences were sometimes awarded at the discretion of the permanent bureau of the F1 Commission. There were no absolute rules about it.
“This year we introduced the same system for A licences, which is what Dan Ticktum is missing.
“This was all because of the problem he had in the UK where effectively he got a two-year ban, half of which was suspended.”
Ticktum, the reigning McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner, is effectively suffering the after-effects of the ban that made him miss the 2016 season and has compromised his ability to log enough superlicence points for championship results.
He was granted five additional points by the MSA, and has two for the MSA Formula campaign in which he earned his ban, but because of that ban he was not around in 2016 to qualify for the five ‘participation’ bonus points or earn extra points from competitive results.
By winning Euro F3, or placing highly in it, this season Ticktum will have enough points to get an International A licence and take part in the end of the season test, if Red Bull still wants to run him then.
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