Home Featured Aston Martin junior Jak Crawford does first F1 test at Red Bull Ring

Aston Martin junior Jak Crawford does first F1 test at Red Bull Ring

by Ida Wood

Photo: Aston Martin F1

Jak Crawford completed his maiden Formula 1 test with Aston Martin at the Red Bull Ring the Wednesday.

The 19-year-old American was a Red Bull junior from 2020 to ’23, and during that time was runner-up in ADAC Formula 4, an eight-time race winner in Euroformula, a race-winner in the FIA Formula 3 Championship and then Formula 2.

However he was never handed an F1 test opportunity, and this year switched allegiances to Aston Martin while also racing in F2 for a second season. He is currently 11th in the standings, having started 2024 with a second place, taken two top-five finishes in round two but then only scoring eight points in the six races since.

The two-year-old Aston Martin AMR22 was the car Crawford dove this week, and he covered more than 92 laps doing short and long runs.

“My first day in an F1 car was a great experience and I enjoyed every lap. It was a clean and smooth day for us with no issues and we completed all the running that we wanted to,” said Crawford.

“The main goal for me was to get up to speed and get used to the systems of the car. It was a learning process for me and in the end, it was nothing like I’ve ever driven before, especially in the high speed sections. I feel like I adapted quite well and I’m excited for the next one.”

When not shadowing the team in the paddock on the weekends F2 is racing, Crawford does simulator work for Aston Martin on grand prix weekends from their UK base. This year he has also tested in Formula E for Andretti Global.

The Alpine F1 team also tested at the Red Bull Ring this week, with its juniors Kush Maini and Victor Martins driving on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. The two F2 sophomores had previously done private testing in Alpine’s 2021 car, and for the first time were driving the two-year-old A522.

“My first full day in a [modern] F1 car is complete in Spielberg. It was a dream come true and it was better than I could have ever imagined it to be,” Maini exclaimed. “[Alpine’s] race support team did an incredible job to get me up to speed quickly and have the test run as smoothly as possible, their hard work and effort doesn’t go unnoticed, so a big thank you to them.

“We completed our run plan successfully and we were able to tick everything off our check list.”

Martins called it “another positive test for me, and it was a great opportunity to learn as much as possible” since he “maximised” his day of qualifying and race simulations.

He also commented: “To have the track to myself and get the maximum enjoyment out of the car was an added bonus after a tough start to my F2 season, it certainly reaffirmed my confidence as a driver.”