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Dan Ticktum to drive 2019 Red Bull F1 car at Bahrain test

by Rob Hansford

Dan Ticktum will drive Red Bull Racing’s 2019 Formula 1 car in the post-Bahrain Grand Prix test next week – his first time testing contemporary F1 machinery.

The two-time Macau Grand Prix winner and Red Bull junior was long considered for an F1 seat with Toro Rosso this year before it became evident he would not be able to gather the FIA Superlicence points required to test, let alone race.

For 2019, the 19-year-old will race in Super Formula with Team Mugen, following in the footsteps of fellow Red Bull protege Pierre Gasly, and may participate in select Formula 2 rounds depending on budget.

Ticktum has no prior experience of contemporary F1 machinery, having only driven cars from the previous V8 era of the championship. His first test came in a 2013 McLaren MP4-28 at Silverstone last November as a reward for winning the 2017 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

Earlier this month he also completed several laps of Suzuka in an eight-year-old Red Bull RB7, before hopping into the new halo-shod Dallara SF19 that he will be racing in this year.

Ticktum’s run in the new Red Bull RB15 will come on April 3, in place of regular driver Pierre Gasly, with Max Verstappen testing the car the day before.

Other junior drivers confirmed to be entering the test include Ferrari juniors Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott at Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, and 2017 Formula V8 3.5 champion Pietro Fittipaldi at Haas.

This weekend also marks the opening round of the 2019 F2 season, in which Schumacher will be driving for Prema and Ilott for Sauber Junior Team by Charouz.