F1 Winter Break
Albon and Kvyat safe for a year? Ticktum’s F1 superlicence points in doubt
Posted By: Editor   |  23 Jan 2019   |  1:37 pm GMT  |  25 comments

Any additional pressure placed on the shoulders of rookie Alexander Albon and returnee Daniil Kvyat may be eased by the knowledge that Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum may not be eligible for the extra points required to obtain an F1 superlicence.

According to a report by Motorsport.com, Ticktum’s attempts to compete in the Asian Formula 3 Winter Series (AWS) to ‘top-up’ the points required for an F1 superlicence may be in vain due to the eligibility of the competition.

Currently, two-time Macau winner Ticktum has 35 of the 40 points required to secure a superlicence and be eligible for a seat in Formula One.

He was an outsider for one of the Toro Rosso seats in 2019, but his defeat to Mick Schumacher in the European Formula Three Championship meant he fell five points short of the requirement.

In a bid to fast-track Ticktum to the 40-point threshold, he was entered into the Asian F3 Winter Series, where he would need a minimum of third place in the championship to secure the additional five superlicence points.

The most up-to-date list of FIA competitions which allow drivers to accumulate superlicence points was published in December 2018, which includes the Asian F3 Winter Series. However, this competition may no longer be accepted as a contest that can award superlicence points.

FIA’s Appendix L regulations state that a series must take place over five race weekends and on three different circuits, whereas this championship is three races weekends over two circuits.

When asked by Motorsport.com for clarification, FIA safety director Adam Baker said: “All championships listed in the table are eligible for superlicence points, should the criteria defined in Appendix L be met.

“As in previous years, the criteria in Appendix L include the number of weekends over which the championship is held.

“Any championship which does not meet the Appendix L requirements will unfortunately not be eligible for superlicence points.”

This development might mean that Ticktum pulls out of the Asian F3 Winter Series altogether, if it becomes ‘worthless’ to him.

Despite positive signs in the opening two rounds, he trails the coveted third place in the championship by 35 points with 75 still to play for.

What does this mean for Kvyat and Albon?

The 2019 Toro Rosso pair are unlikely to come under immediate pressure for their seats, unless Red Bull start adding other superlicence-eligible drivers to their roster.

If Ticktum remains on 35 points, then he will be unable to compete in F1 in 2019, barring some kind of FIA dispensation.

The Briton will be able to participate in free practice sessions though, which means a more intensifying development role could be on the cards for 2019.

Ticktum spent the tail-end of 2018 taking part in races in the Super Formula series and Formula Two, no doubt getting a feel for each championship as potential competitions for 2019.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had previously expressed his frustration at Ticktum being unable to take part in testing, but he now has the required 25 points necessary to carry out ‘free practice only’ duties, should Red Bull or Toro Rosso choose to use him.

Toro Rosso may be resistant to using Ticktum early on, however, due to Kvyat and Albon needing time in F1 machinery after not competing in 2018.

A junior driver system that has previously been bursting with talented drivers has started looking a bit thin in recent years, made evident by their decision to bring back Kvyat for a third stint at the team, and recall former academy drivers Brendon Hartley and Alexander Albon in the last couple of years, although the latter showed very strong, race-winning pace in Formula Two last year.

Aside from Ticktum, their remaining academy drivers are still in the earlier stages of their junior careers, and are unlikely to hit Toro Rosso’s radar for a couple of years.

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

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RB is full of BS, honestly.


Considering what he pulled in the junior category… teenager or not… he should never have a super license in my view


This tool has no place in a Tesco car park never mind Formula One.


I just think Dan Ticktum shouldn’t be allowed in F1 or any other single seater category based on his past reputation. I have known nobody to be able to cure “road-rage”. Once it’s in you, it’s there for life.


Seems like an almighty mess up, and the series has neither enough races nor at enough different tracks. Oops. He’ll be in Super Formula in Japan this year and maybe some F2, so we’ll see how he does. He looks fast but inconsistent so far, and he’ll forever be dogged by the ban he deservedly got a few years back – he was a stupid kid, but he deserves a second chance at least.

On Red Bull have you see Marko claiming it cost Red Bull €15M to change the aero for 2019. I’d love to hear him justify this – did they take on extra staff, did they run extra CFD, did they pay overtime for Adrian? Red Bull would have had a fully new car anyway with the Honda engine, so I’m struggling to see where this extra spend came from. The comment today from the big teams that they worry when technical people make the rules it gets expensive. This seems to be directly criticising Brawn and his team who are working on the new 2021 rules – self interest showing once again from the big three – come on FIA and Liberty, by all means listen to the three big teams, but then do what is right for our sport to bring it back under cost and competitive control – grow some balls basically.


I reckon he deserves a second chance.
He has the talent. But opened mouth before engaging brain. Youth cup angst like Max V but he’ll learn. If he doesn’t then I’m sure a swift kick in the family jewels will control alt delete his software. Reboot his thinking and get his way into F1. He is a talented driver. Reminds me of Irvine.

Tornillo Amarillo

his defeat to Mick Schumacher in the European Formula Three Championship meant he fell five points short of the requirement.”

OK, how Mick has improved there, how his car improved suddenly and consistently to win the championship? Was a Ferrari’s hand?
Can anyone explain?


how his car improved suddenly and consistently to win the championship? Was a Ferrari’s hand?

Can anyone explain?

I suspect it was more to do with the famous Mercedes party mode!


Forgive not paying attention, but is Motorsport.com the country where James Allen has been elected President for life?


Lets face it, Liberty will be wanting younger and preferably controversial drivers to try to win the new younger fans they are desperate to attract and the FIA will happily to ride on Liberty’s coat tails and accommodate their wishes so bending a few qualification ‘regulations’ is no big deal. Its F1 Jim but not as we know it.


Sad reflection on Red Bull’s academy when all their eggs are in the Ticktum basket. Not a great deal of evidence that he’s a future F1 talent, and plenty of evidence of some real personality and entitlement issues…


Most of the current crop of juniors were signed in 2018 or 19 and they’re all either very young or just moving up into series that get them Super License points. They seem to be in an in-between year for 2019. The changes to Super License rule did throw something of a bomb under all the junior driver programs, but with Red Bull’s being the largest it’s also been the most obvious.


With 5 previous juniors on the grid this year they seem to know what they’re doing.


Marko’s decision to promote Verstappen at all costs is what threw a bomb under their junior driver programme, the super licence changes meant replacing the discarded drivers has been a challenge.


Given Ticktum’s statement that he competed to get the required license points, and that he considered it as a formality, he does not look good at all at this time.

His teammate, Rinus van Kalmthout, leads the series and blows away his overrated team mate.

Tornillo Amarillo

Don’t worry maybe Vettel will return to Red Bull soon, like Kimi to Sauber 🙂


He won’t unless Max moved to Ferrari. I feel a swap between Hamilton and Vettel is possible rather them!


Would be great to see Ticktum and Alban in Toro Rosso. Kyvat is old hat, he has had is day in the Sun, the torpedo with no sense of direction. A Scud that is more miss than hit.
Sadly Russian money at Toro Rosso and Polish dosh at Williams has more clout.
Vettel must be hoping he doesn’t get rear ended again in a return of ‘last not great braker’.


Albon and Kvyat should be given a full season to show what they can do. Albon hasn’t even competed in a single F1 race yet and Red Bull/Toro Rosso can’t keep dropping Kvyat half way through a season, either give him a full season or hire someone else.

Ticktum clearly isn’t ready for F1 yet. Give him a season in F2. If he proves himself there he can compete for an F1 seat in 2020. What’s the rush?


ticktum seems like a sore loser at best why would you want him in the team…why can’t redbull go for Vergne…he’s doing really well in FE and should be given another chance.


JEV already denied for Torro Rosso however he was ready to return in RBR!


Ticktum, no idea what to think about him. Seems fast on track but also shows a bit of mhm monkeydonkey behavior, (ain’t that a nice word^^), on and off track. The junior driver system from RB is indeed a bit shy of real talents that can fill spots at TR coming years. However, what might be even more worrying is that RB has no equal replacement for MV or even PG if and when either of them decide that Honda isn’t delivering a PU that makes them able to compete for podiums let alone the title. Well they might seduce a ‘free’ driver as they did with MV. Still, might be better to be a bit undermanned then forced to put a talented driver on hold, (Oco).


I don’t really know him as a racing driver – only snippets of – generally negative – press regarding his attitude. I’m old enough to know media isn’t always the bastion of truth/accuracy so I’m not judging him.

Any fellow motorsport fans seen this guy race? How good is he?


He is good. Just needs to sort his media communication skills out and not let his youthful blathering be the stick he gets beaten with.


He’s average at best, absolutely nothing special.


Ticktum is better than average Twitch_6
You don’t win Macau twice and be average at best. Rate him over Mr Torpedo any day.

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