After a year where he was famously unable to test for Red Bull because he had not earned enough points at the time, Ticktum has his sights set on earning an F1 race licence before the start of next season.
Ticktum needs 40 points to do so, and he currently is only assured of 32 – 25 for his runner-up spot in Euro F3, five for his Macau GP win last year and two for his form in the MSA Formula campaign in 2015.
He will lose the latter two points after this year, and he is also awaiting clarification from the FIA about whether or not five discretionary points awarded by the MSA can count for the superlicence.
There is also the chance for him to earn another five this weekend if he wins the Macau GP again.
Once he has a confirmed total for the year then he will decide what his next steps are – and whether he needs to race in winter categories like the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand to help him get over the 40-point threshold.
“It has been a bit annoying,” Ticktum told Motorsport.com about the superlicence saga. “I have enough to test and do everything – the only thing I don’t have enough to do now is race.
“So I have enough to do FP1s and all the rest of it, but I need to try to get myself 40 by the beginning of next season because you never know what will happen. So we will see.
“There are many opportunities I can use: MRF Challenge and the Toyota Racing Series. If there’s a way, I’ll do it.”
Although getting a full superlicence would put him in the frame for a race seat, Ticktum says that a switch to F1 in 2019 is not really on the cards, with it more likely he will race in Super Formula next year.
“That [Super Formula] is very, very likely,” said Ticktum, who took provisional pole position for the Macau GP on Thursday.
“F2 is all budget dependent, and it is a struggle for Red Bull and my dad. That is unfortunately how mammoth the cost of F2 is at the moment.
“If we can find a relatively reasonable deal with a good team we will try and put something together, but at the moment it is looking unlikely. But you never know what happens, it all changes from one day to the next in motor sport.
“If I have a very good year next year I think I have a very good shot at Toro Rosso the year after
“So I just need to make sure I do everything right next year and iron out a few little creases that are left and I should be good.”