Formula 2 have had some classic British team and driver combinations over the past few campaigns, and Dan Ticktum will be looking to carry the mantle with Surrey-based side Carlin this season.
Finishing 11th in his rookie year, Ticktum showed flashes of real quality, including a heroic Sprint Race win at his home circuit in Silverstone and three further podiums.
The 21-year-old will be the only British driver on the grid in the opening round of the 2021 campaign, with Callum Ilott and Jack Aitken both departing F2 at the end of last season, and the Williams junior feels that he and Carlin can mount a serious title challenge together.
“I really like the team,” said Ticktum. “I really liked DAMS as well, but being British, with a British team, it just seems to work for me. DAMS were great, but I am really enjoying it here. It feels really relaxed and I am enjoying that approach.
“In terms of the car, it just felt very planted and gave me quite a lot of confidence. I didn’t really get to the limit in the post-season tests and I was actually a bit frustrated on the final day.
“Everyone has reset now and hopefully we’ll be able to hit the ground running more than other drivers. If we can finish in the points all of the time, then there were a couple of events where Carlin really dominated, so hopefully we can emulate that this season, but with fewer no points finishes and more consistency.”
Ticktum feels that greater consistency will come naturally with the additional miles he has under his belt, explaining that he feels more confident heading into his second season at this level.
“You don’t get a lot of testing in F2, but I have done more and more miles in the car over the course of the year and I am much more confident because of it,” he continued. “I would say my main improvement is my understanding of the car.
“I do think that I performed pretty well last year, but there are a few details with the tyres that I need to get a bit better with, like braking or management. Putting qualifying laps together will be important as well, but the learning curve heading into this season won’t be as steep this year because I am further up it.”