Sean Gelael and Dan Ticktum join DAMS for 2020 F2 season

Indonesia’s Sean Gelael and British racer Dan Ticktum join DAMS for the 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship season, as the French squad aims to defend its teams’ title and compete for the drivers’ crown.

Gelael is the first Indonesian driver to compete for DAMS and brings plenty of experience with him as a podium finisher in the category. The 23-year-old has been affiliated with the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 team since 2017, completing five practice outings during Grand Prix weekends with the outfit, as well as in-season testing and during this week’s post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test.

Double Macau Grand Prix winner Ticktum re-joins the Le Mans-based team after his stint in the GP3 Series in 2017, in which he scored a podium in only his fifth race. He would go on to become the vice champion in the 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Championship before making a wildcard appearance in FIA Formula 2 during the Abu Dhabi finale that year.

After mixing his 2019 racing programmes between Super Formula and the Formula Regional European Championship, in which the 20-year-old scored a pair of second-place finishes during his two-round stint, Ticktum will be entirely committed to Formula 1’s main feeder series in 2020 for his first full season in the championship.

DAMS enjoyed a successful 2019 campaign in FIA Formula 2, with more victories than any other team (six), as well as 16 podiums to win the teams’ championship and finish second and fourth in the drivers’ standings. Nicholas Latifi also became the 32nd DAMS driver to reach Formula 1 as he joins ROKiT Williams Racing in 2020.

Gelael and Ticktum will be in action during the FIA Formula 2 post-Abu Dhabi test on 5-7 December ahead of pre-season testing next year in preparation for the Bahrain curtain raiser on 20-22 March.

Sean Gelael: “I’m really humbled that DAMS has accepted me as one of their drivers, especially after the year they’ve had winning the teams’ championship and with the tough driver market there is. Obviously, we’ll be looking to repeat that next season although it’s going to be challenging. We have big changes with the introduction of the 18-inch wheels, but we’ve got a great bunch of people that believe in their drivers.”

Dan Ticktum: “It’s an honour to be joining DAMS in Formula 2 for the 2020 season. Having competed with them in GP3 in 2017, I’m looking forward to being back with the team and continuing to build on those successes.  By winning the teams’ title this year, DAMS has again shown that they are one of the best outfits out there. François and his team have a reputation in the Formula 1 paddock for producing top drivers as well as for offering them the best support to get them to F1 – I can’t wait to get started later this week in Abu Dhabi.”

Gregory and Olivier Driot: “We are delighted to welcome Sean Gelael and Dan Ticktum to DAMS. Next season we will have a great mix in our driver pairing, with the significant experience of Sean in the year of a big technical change for F2 which will switch to 18-inch wheels. His background will allow us to have a reference and will provide us with good feedback, and we wish to help him get the results he deserves. With Dan we are investing in a rookie who we wish to prepare as quickly as possible. We know he has raw speed, demonstrated with his two Macau Grand Prix wins and being vice champion in European F3. He raced successfully with us in GP3 for three rounds and we also tested him in F2 which went very well. In a way it is like he is coming back to the team, even if it was on a temporary basis before. I look forward to seeing them on track in DAMS’ colours.”

Photo: Dutch Photo Agency