Home Featured “It’s a long year”: DAMS’ Crawford eyeing title due to improving F2 form

“It’s a long year”: DAMS’ Crawford eyeing title due to improving F2 form

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Jak Crawford has been accumulating points twice as fast with DAMS as in his rookie Formula 2 season with Hitech GP, and looks a reinforced presence on this year’s grid.

The American kickstarted 2024 with second place in Bahrain’s sprint race and was in contention for a feature race podium before a pitstop issue. He claimed two top-five finishes in Jeddah, then two big mistakes in Melbourne qualifying should have set up two difficult races from 22nd and last on the grid yet he charged into the top 10 in both and set the feature race’s fastest lap.

Crawford sits eighth in the standings with 26 points, a tally it took him 13 races to reach last year, and is “really, really happy so far” with his season.

It’s been a very good start,” he told Formula Scout in the paddock. “I’m very happy how the team is working so far. It’s still very tough, very tough championship and easy to make mistakes, which happened in Melbourne. But we are on a good path for the rest of the year.”

Last season was full of ups and downs, his tally of five podiums (including victory in the Red Bull Ring sprint race) being exceeded by his number of points-free weekends. At Zandvoort he took pole and converted it into a third place finish, the only time he was higher than eighth in a feature race. He ended the season 13th in the standings.

“A full year of F2 certainly helps,” Crawford cited as a reason behind this year’s competitivity. “I feel like the team is just working around me a bit better and I prefer their style a bit more. It’s a new car as well.”

He added: “I do approach [race weekends] a bit differently though because I’m not a rookie anymore. I can attack a bit more the free practices and qualifyings and the races. I know what to expect a bit more. The approach really doesn’t change too much, neither does preparation. Just the extra experience gives me a bit more room to play with.”

While he may already be 36 points behind first place, Crawford wants “to win the [2024] championship and finish very high up”.

“There’s a long way to go, anything could happen. One feature race win puts you near the top at this point. So that’s what we are looking to do. It’s a long year, a lot can happen. But I think we will just get stronger as the year goes on.”

Crawford lost his long-held Red Bull junior status at the end of 2023, but joined Aston Martin’s junior ranks this February.

“There’s no involvement on the F2 side. They’re not, let’s say, a junior programme trying to help me. It’s more of a young driver development deal,” he explained. “So I’m doing lots of sim work for them. I get opportunities in the AMR22, the old car, and I’m just working with them on the F1 side.”