The significance of rising British star Dan Ticktum being sent by his backer, Red Bull, to race full-time in the Super Formula Championship in 2019 is obvious. It confirms the resurgence of the premier Japanese single-seater series as a genuine stepping-stone to Formula 1.
Ticktum is following in the footsteps of another Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly and will race, like the Frenchman, for Team Mugen in a Honda-engined car.
A successful season in Japan propelled Gasly into F1 at the end of 2017 with Toro Rosso and onto a seat with Red Bull Racing for 2019. The intention of Red Bull driver development chief Helmut Marko is clearly to prepare the 19-year-old Briton for an eventual graduation to the sport’s pinnacle.