Red Bull Junior Team’s Dan Ticktum got his first chance to drive a Red Bull F1 car in a demo run at Suzuka last weekend.
With Ticktum preparing for the 2019 Super Formula season with Team Mugen Honda, the British racer – along with the other Super Formula drivers – was part of a fan event held by the organisers at Japan’s Suzuka circuit last weekend.
As part of the event, Ticktum was asked by Red Bull to drive the 2011 RB7 for a short trip of the circuit in a demo run. This was Ticktum’s first outing in a Red Bull F1 car after his McLaren drive in 2018 when he won the outing as an award.
Interestingly, the demo run at Suzuka wasn’t made public on Red Bull’s social media channels until Wednesday morning when they uploaded an onboard video from Ticktum’s lap. There are no official photos available as well on Red Bull Content Pool.
The run for Ticktum comes at a time when he is looking to gain F1 superlicense points – although for now, he has enough to drive for Red Bull or Toro Rosso in the young drivers’ test. In fact, Red Bull wanted him to run in 2018 but the FIA did not award him a license.
The British racer took part in first of the two Super Formula 2019 pre-season tests at Suzuka, where he finished fifth on Day 2. After Pierre Gasly’s heroics in his season, Red Bull will be wanting Ticktum to achieve the same in 2019 after missing the F3 title in 2018.
Speaking to the media about his Super Formula season and F1 goals, Ticktum said: “I think I am just so focused on getting [to F1] to be honest, something I think about it too much [i feel]. Everyone is always asking, ‘what do you want to achieve when you are there?’
“But first I need to have a very good year here [Super Formula], and then I want to get into F1 where most likely I’ll have an opportunity maybe with Toro Rosso [first]. Then from there you never know what will happen, but I just keep trying to do the best I can.
“Obviously, if I do get the chance to drive for Red Bull in the future to win championships, it would obviously be amazing, but I can’t focus too much on this – it could be five years away or more and I always spend too much energy thinking about the future.
“So, I think now this year I’ll try to focus as much as possible on trying to finish well in Super Formula first.” It remains to be seen if Ticktum gets the chance to drive in either of the two in-season F1 tests in 2019 or even the Pirelli tyre test days.