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Jak Crawford Races Forward in F3 Feature

Jak Crawford #5 Prema, during the round 1 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship at Bahrain International Circuit, in Bahrain on March 18 - 20, 2022. // Dutch Photo Agency / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202203200155 // Usage for editorial use only //

SAKHIR, Bahrain (20 March 2022) – American Jak Crawford put on an impressive show in Sunday’s feature race at Bahrain International Circuit, gaining 13 positions to finish seventh in the opening weekend of the season for the 2022 FIA Formula 3 championship.

The event was a turnaround from the beginning of what had been a frustrating weekend for the 16-year-old Red Bull Junior Team driver making his debut outing for PREMA Racing in F3.

The Texan had engine trouble in qualifying, giving him a 20th-place starting position for both weekend races. He was seventh in the lone practice session, but wound up 21st in qualifying – falling back in the final minutes after running seventh and eighth for most of the session.

“For me, it was a very disappointing weekend,” Crawford said. “I had really good speed in free practice and qualifying. Unfortunately, I had an issue in qualifying. One of my radiators had a big leak after a stone hit it. The team tried to repair it, but when I went out for my second run – which was when everyone got quicker – there was still an issue and that cost me a lot of time. That was a shame, because it put me back in the pack. Unfortunate, but those things happen. It was just unlucky for it to happen in the first qualifying of the season.

Crawford started 20th for Saturday’s 20-lap Sprint Race. He quickly gained four positions in five laps before a damaged wing sent him to the pits and ultimately out of the race.

Crawford again faced the challenge of coming from 20th in Sunday morning’s 23-lap Feature Race, which awarded more points to the drivers placing in the top 10. He moved up to 13th in the mayhem-packed opening four laps. From them, he worked his way up into the points, taking seventh by inches on a pass on the final lap.

“I was quite happy with race two,” Crawford added. “In the end, we’re not majorly far off in the championship standings. We really wanted a good result in this one, because there were more points on offer in the feature race. I drove a really good race, coming from 20th to seventh. I think sixth would have been the maximum I could have gotten, but I had contact near the end of the race. That sent me back a few positions, but I was able to gain them back.”

Crawford drove the final lap knowing the competitor in front of him would be penalized for contact earlier in the race, but that didn’t stop him from trying to gain the position on track.

“I wanted to beat him track,” Crawford said. “He wasn’t doing anything crazy, so I just wanted to beat him.”

After a busy run-up to the start of the F3 championship season, Crawford will return Stateside to spend a few days with family and friends in Houston.

“I’m home for more than a week, and then we have some F3 testing in Spain, getting ready for the next race,” he said.

Next up for FIA F3 is a two-race weekend at the Imola Circuit in Italy on April 23-24.

“I’m very excited, because I have a very good history at Imola,” Crawford said. “I’ve already won there three times, and I think it will be a very good round for me. It’s a new track for F3, and I think the team will work hard to get the setup right.”

Images via Red Bull Content pool