Red Bull junior and Motopark’s Dan Ticktum came under scrutiny following his social media post against Mick Schumacher and Prema as he faces stiff fight for the 2018 FIA European Formula 3 Championship title.
The British driver enjoyed a good lead by midway into the 2018 season when he toppled his competitors including Prema’s Ralf Aron & Marcus Armstrong, HitechGP’s Enaam Ahmed and Motopark’s Juri Vips.
However, the tables turned for Prema’s Schumacher with a victory at Spa-Francorchamps. Since then the German has won seven races to shot into the lead with a 49 points advantage whereas Ticktum has only one win post the Belgium weekend.
The Red Bull junior has had a difficult time all together with Schumacher shining in the moment. In fact, most of the initial title contenders have dropped off with Aron, Ahmed, Vips and Armstrong in no contention to challenge the Top 2.
At the same time, Schumacher rose along with teammate and Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman, with the two scoring 16 podiums including eight wins among them since the Spa-Francorchamps weekend.
Following the Red Bull Ring weekend, Ticktum took to the social media to show displeasure as he finds himself in a losing title battle. “Not ideal is the best way I can describe the weekend here in Austria,” he wrote.
“I don’t like pointing fingers at anyone but to be honest, this weekend the pace in the car was not there. Set up mainly, as in the last race when we got the car better, we were pretty quick climbing from 7th to 4th.
“However compared to the Top 2, no one on this grid had a chance. Even their other team mates who are good drivers were nowhere compared to them. Interesting is how I would describe their pace and I am confident many people in the F3 paddock will agree.
“I did the best possible as I always endeavour to do! Thank you to the team as always for their hard work. It’s not over until it’s over and I’ll make sure I arrive at the last round in the best shape I can.”
His social media post left hundreds of mixed comments – mostly negative – as Ticktum took time to respond to many on the comment section as well as on DM’s. The British driver had to clarify his statements that he never mentioned the car to be ‘illegal’.
“To all people who have left negative comments on here, this is the one and only response you will get from me, so enjoy it. I’m not a sore loser. Neither am I salty. I have a huge respect for Mick who had dealt with a lot in the past few years.
“I am simply suggesting that it seems to have come from nowhere? I never said it was illegal. I appreciate I have lessons to learn still! I’m not denying that. You don’t know the real story because you are not at the track looking at everyone’s data.
“So I’m afraid I have to tell you that your opinion is invalid under these circumstances. I’ll say it only once more, unless you have something constructive to say, leave your useless, ill thought comments off my page as they have no evidence to ratify the truth.
“If you want to talk to me DM me as I can answer your questions if you may have some! Unfortunately however I am fighting a losing battle as my last name is not Schumacher,” he explained as he continued to respond to fans in various comments.
The British driver was particularly enraged with fans talking about his ban from three years back for which he has faced extreme criticism over the years and continues to hear so. He seems to have gotten his mojo back and looked good in F3.
Infact, he was said to be on Red Bull’s radar for a Formula 1 debut in 2019 itself with Toro Rosso as the energy drinks company faces dearth of talent. However, his superlicense situation made it difficult as the FIA ruled out any special dispensation.
He was not allowed to test in Hungaroring where Jake Dennis drove and now with him on the backfoot to even win the European F3 title and score the vital superlicense points, it will be much harder for Red Bull to convince the FIA.
To Schumacher’s defence, the German has had pace all-through the season but was unlucky in the first half of 2018. Some sources within the paddock have highlighted Schumacher’s advances which has been there since the start.
The German also told to FormulaRapida.net about his work in the winter which is generating results now. His dominance has been supreme for sure but as alluded, many of his rivals have dropped off hugely for various reasons.
UPDATE: When FormulaRapida.net contacted both Prema and Schumacher, they decided not to comment on Ticktum’s messages – which has now been deleted by the British driver following the heated response from fans.
Schumacher spoke to the German local media but didn’t want to comment in English. At the same time, Prema decided not to respond to any media, adding: “We prefer to focus on our work and the progression of our drivers at the moment.”