Williams development driver Dan Ticktum has been dropped by the team after less than two years in the role.
The Formula 2 driver, who was twice released from the Red Bull programme, was handed a Formula 1 lifeline by Williams in December 2019.
The team signed him as their development driver for the 2020 season, a deal that was extended into this year’s championship.
He has spent a lot of time working in the simulator at the team’s factory in Grove and has also impressed in Formula 2, currently occupying P4 in the standings.
Given such strong form, he was thought to be on the team’s list of candidates to replace George Russell should the Briton be called up by Mercedes.
It now seems certain that will not be the case though, with the British team informing the official Formula 1 website that he has been dropped.
The news came after details emerged about comments Ticktum had made regarding Russell’s team-mate, Nicholas Latifi.
Streaming on Twitch while playing Call of Duty: Warzone, the 22-year-old sang: “Do-be-do-be-do, Latifi is poo, Rosberg is a cheat.”
Which Rosberg he was referring to, Nico or Keke, we cannot say.
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He repeated “Latifi is a poo” before adding “why does that still make me laugh?”
One of his Twitch viewers was not impressed, writing “I mean he’s in F1, you’re in F2…”
Ticktum turned his ire on that commentator.
“I mean he’s older than me, he paid to get there,” he said. “Moron. F**king idiot.”
Kicking the viewer off his channel, he ranted: “I’m bored, go away, like I don’t want someone like that on my f**king channel. Goodbye.”
Ticktum then explained to that friend that he was playing with, who said he would “rather be the best in F2 than the worst in F1”, that it is “not like divisions, it’s not like League 1 and the Premier League, where you come up through the ranks.
“And just because you don’t get to Formula 1 in motorsport it doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough to get there, you know what I mean?”
Ironically, Ticktum’s criticism of Latifi came as the Canadian raced to his first ever top-10 finish in Formula 1, bringing his FW43B home in seventh place at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
And he finished the race ahead of the much-lauded Russell, who was P8.
While Latifi is all but guaranteed a Williams seat for next season, with Williams CEO Jost Capito saying there is “no reason not to have him in next year”, Ticktum has pretty much shot his chances in the foot.
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