Dan Ticktum made his ABB FIA Formula E World Championship debut a fortnight ago in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, and the confident Brit feels he's well on the way to getting his head around the Gen2 car, with forward momentum the aim for Season 8 at NIO 333.
"It was more or less as I expected really, nothing too out of the ordinary," says the 22-year-old. "The second race wasn’t that exciting for us but the whole year is about progression. In terms of my first experience, I really enjoyed it in Diriyah and you could see from looking at past races it’s definitely one of the top races on the calendar for the drivers.
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"I don’t think prep was compromised [by dovetailing Formula 2 with Formula E’s pre-season test]. It’s obviously quite a different car to what I’m used to driving but it wasn’t that hard to adapt. I felt by the end of day one in Valencia I had a pretty good feel right away. I felt very confident in the car in Diriyah and I was right up to the walls and wasn’t fazed at all. I feel comfortable already.
"I’m a young, competitive bloke and I want to be fighting at the front but that’s not entirely feasible at the moment – so, we’ve got a bit of a job to do."
Tricks of the trade
Ticktum's a race winner in almost everything he's driven on the way up the motorsport ladder - including FIA Formula 2, which he's fresh out of. A victory in Monaco and two Macau Grand Prix wins are particular highlights - the latter having been a real barometer of talent over the years with the likes of Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Ricardo Patrese taking to the top step. Ticktum is one of just eight to have taken multiple victories there, alongside Season 6 champion Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH).
Jumping into Formula E, the major adjustment as he sees it is the focus on regeneration and the trickery that can be put to work in software - something that will be honed with experience as Ticktum learns what works best with his driving style.
"The regeneration paddle is probably the most different thing and it’s obviously quite a big change. But once you get used to it, it’s like a slightly less efficient brake. I don’t feel like there’s really been anything I’ve struggled to get a handle on. You’ve got systems like the artificial traction control and anti-lock brakes which are interesting to play with – there’s almost limitless opportunities you can do with those.
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"It would be great to get to the Duels stage! It’s a great idea and head-to-head is always going to be exciting. This is what Formula E is all about – trying to create different, interesting ways of going racing. I was unfortunately out pretty early on but I was watching on and I was very excited by it – so that’s a good sign!"
Formula E returns to Mexico City this weekend after a year away in Puebla. Ticktum's familiarised himself with the circuit on the sim and having watched the series' five visits to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to-date, he's expecting a super atmosphere in the Foro Sol.
"I’ve never been to Mexico, actually, but the fans love their motorsport and they’re very lively. I think this venue is perfect. We do a short lap so we’re going through the stadium all the time and it’s the perfect environment to turn the whole weekend into a little festival with everyone coming along for a few drinks and a good time! The more events we get like this, the better for our sport."