Houston, Texas, USA (February 12, 2024) – On February 12, the Aston Martin Aramco Formula One Team of Silverstone, England announced 18 year old, USA-driver Jak Crawford as the Aston Martin Young Driver. The F1 driver development deal comes on the heels of Crawford landing a new FIA F2 contract for 2024 with DAMS, the exclusive F2 racing team based near Le Mans, France.
“Jak had a very productive four years being contracted to Red Bull, and we saw this move to Aston Martin as a way to put Jak into an intimate F1 driver development role,” said Rick Gorne, Crawford’s UK based motorsports consultant. “We believe that the road to F1 is evolving. We wanted smart, purposeful driver development plan with significant car opportunities and that is what Aston Martin will deliver for Jak.”
The program will establish a work environment for Crawford in the Aston Martin Aramco Formula One®simulator, as well as providing the young charger with F1 seat time testing cars from previous seasons. Crawford’s role in the team will be varied, including serving as a brand ambassador and sim driver.
“Jak made a very positive impression with his extensive work in the 2023 F1 simulator for Red Bull, and that was an important building block for this agreement,” said Gorne. “Jak has built up an accomplished reputation on F1 sim machinery as a very fast, consistent driver with exceptional feedback for car development. This experience has become a valuable part of Jak’s resume and plays a part in his new role. However, the first priority will always be on Jak’s F2 season.”
Crawford has recently completed his first year in FIA F2 with Hitech GP. In racing, a season is best judged by comparing teammate-to-teammate. In the case of Crawford in 2023, he won in every category: season ending championship order, head-to-head qualifying positions, race pace, points-paying wins, podiums, and poles.
“Jak has pure pace talent in any sim or car,” said Gorne. “There were only seven pole position drivers in F2 in 2023. Six of the drivers were in the top four championship finishing teams, and those drivers were in the top six finishing positions. Jak was the only other pole man.” Gorne continues, “It is a spec series, but we all know the teams are not equal. Considering this, Jak was an outstanding rookie in 2023 in our estimation.”
FIA F2 staged the traditional 2023 end of season test in late November. Crawford’s three-day test with his new DAMS team provided great hope for the 2024 season. The qualifying pace was evident and the race pace was even better. For 2024, Crawford will focus on second year consistency while attacking the F2 Championship.
New sponsors will be announced before the season begins. Combined with the new Aston Martin Aramco Formula One® Team announcement, the future looks bright for Jak Crawford.