Header image/photos by Tony Hall; interviews by Sergio Álvarez
FIA F2. Race 2 then. Saturday.
We found ourselves surrounded by the walls of our private apartment and at the same moment asking the second place finisher (at least at that instant), Dan Ticktum, a few casual questions via Vzoom, it’s like Vroom and Zoom for petrolheads all mixed together. Dan, on the other hand, had to deal with real walls downtown Monte-Carlo.
DT is a bit of character and at 22 he is ready to graduate into something bigger than Formula 2, however I can’t see him overthrowing slightly better off (moneytron-wise) drivers who might’ve usurped a sustainable seat or two in this highly exotic modern version of Formula 1. Carlin is synonymous with IndyCar these days and so there’s no reason why Dan can’t emulate Palou’s recent success in the land of Uncle Joe.
Anyway, on with the question.
Dan, in the early twenties during the race, lap 21-23, we saw you sliding quite a lot in the Massenet corner (coincidentally, named after some opera composer called Jules Massenet, no idea, never hear of him, only his corner – editor), has it changed your mind to back off slightly and stop chasing Liam?
DT: Not really, no. I mean, I think for the first ten laps, when it was really wet, it’s safe to say all three of us were not on the limit-limit because you just can’t, especially at Massenet there’s a bit of a crown in the road. If you go over the middle of the track, you’re then off camber and you’re having a big moment. I did have a pretty sizeable snap but it was under control. It didn’t really change my mindset, I think it was just clear at that point that we were starting to struggle with the rear tyres so that was when I was on my charge trying to catch Liam. I just overheated the surface of the rears, I think our (Carlin) car was amazing for the really wet conditions but as it started to dry out we were a bit pointy maybe and used the rear quite a lot, it’s quite easy to overheat the rears. So yeah, no, it didn’t really change my mind. I kept hunting for the win, let’s say, kept pushing.
And win he did! After Formula 2 bigwigs found Lawson’s car in breach of technical regs, something about the throttle map, don’t even ask. All I know is Google maps and they’re pretty annoying maps, aren’t they. There’s only one throttle map I personally know of: pedal gently not to the metal because petrol’s so blooming expensive! And EVs are a joke.
Another guy, who I’ve totally picked up for the title in 2021 and who carries with him the luck of the great champions past and present, to have benefitted from Lawson’s mapping misfortune was Oscar Piastri. The quiet Aussie thus gets promoted to P2 in Race 2 and is hot on the feels of his Alpine Academy ‘co-worker’, Zhou. 68 pts for Zhou to 52 for Piastri.
Basically what happened is we wanted to know whether Oscar would consider sending it on-track, licking the stamp and all, in the main race, the Feature Race, throw all caution to the wind, that sort of stuff, or rather overtake using pit stops as the main weapon? Overcut, undercut, director’s cut, etc..
Said OP: “Yes and no, I mean it depends on the situation obviously. If you’re in my situation I was in in this race (Sprint 2), then you’re probably gonna want and try to get ahead of people, but at the same time, the Feature Race is the most points and you’ve got to protect those points as well. It depends on the situation: if you have a clear opportunity to overtake, then I’m sure everyone’s gonna take it, but yeah, I don’t think there’ll be too many risks taken and I don’t know if the pit stops will make a huge difference or wot but I guess we’re gonna have to find out this afternoon.”
TCF1: “We will.”
As for Théo Pourchaire, our projected (since he started from pole) and actual winner of the Feature Race, you’ll have to come back mid-week should you wish to read his exclusive thoughts on Monaco and why all of a sudden his name is all over motorsport press. And why Sauber.
Until then, stop tweeting.