Sean Gelael and Daniel Ticktum will lead DAMS’ defence of the Formula 2 Teams’ title in 2020, following the reigning Champion’s double driver announcement this afternoon.
Gelael will become the first Indonesian driver to compete for DAMS, bringing with him his vast experience of the F2 Championship. The 23-year-old has been in the category since its inception in 2017. Initially with PERTAMINA Arden, Gelael scored four points’ finishes in his debut campaign, as he got used to the new machinery.
In 2018, he was awarded with a seat at Championship winning outfit PREMA Racing, alongside Nyck de Vries. The Indonesian scored his maiden podium during that season, earning second place in the Monaco Feature Race.
He remained with PREMA in 2019, alongside European F3 Champion Mick Schumacher, but has now opted to join Teams’ Champions DAMS for the 2020 campaign.
On joining the French side, Gelael said: “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.”
Ticktum spent the 2019 campaign racing in Japanese Super Formula, but has history on the Road to F1. The double Macau Grand Prix winner previously raced for DAMS in the 2017 GP3 Series, where he finished 11th, with one podium in his rookie year.
The Briton went on to race in European F3 and was named as the 2018 Vice-Champion, finishing below Mick Schumacher. Following that, Ticktum made the leap to F2, racing with BWT Arden in the 2018 season finale in Abu Dhabi.
On signing for DAMS, Ticktum said: “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.”
DAMS enjoyed a hugely successful 2019 season, achieving six victories and 16 podiums on their way to winning the Teams’ title. While, Nicholas Latifi finished second in the standings, earning himself a move to Formula 1 with Williams.
Gelael and Ticktum will take part in post-season testing for the French team at the Yas Marina circuit later this week, as they look to prepare themselves for the new campaign.
Team owners Gregory and Olivier Driot added: “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.”
Photos: Dutch Photo Agency