Crawford caps Hungaroring F3 Weekend with 15th-place finish

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Crawford caps Hungaroring F3 Weekend with 15th-place finish

Jak Crawford #10 Hitech GP, during round four of the FIA Formula 3 Championship at the Hungaroring, in Hungary on July 30- Aug 1, 2021. // SI202108010105 // Usage for editorial use only //

BUDAPEST, Hungary (1 August 2021) – Jak Crawford made his return to FIA Formula 3 competition with a challenging three-race weekend at the Hungaroring.

The Red Bull Junior Team driver from Texas had his best finish in Sunday morning’s weekend finale, working his way forward seven positions on a rapidly-drying circuit.

Qualifying deep in the 30-car field set the tone for the weekend, which was further complicated by an incident on the final lap of Saturday’s opening race.

“Overall, not a good weekend,” Crawford said. “Still a lot to learn for me and the team together. Now we have a few weeks break and then reset for Spa.”

With limited preparation for his first F3 event at the 2.722-mile circuit, Crawford’s Hitech Grand Prix machine was 19th in practice and then 22nd in qualifying on a hot Friday – although only one second off the pole.

“We didn’t have the speed for qualifying after we missed the setup with understreer, and I wasn’t able to adjust my driving for the way my car was set up. It wouldn’t rotate in the corners,” Crawford said. “It was a disappointing qualifying and that set the weekend at a circuit where it’s really difficult to pass.”

Starting 22nd for race one, Crawford lost two positions on the opening two laps, run in cooler conditions from Friday.

“I had a bad first lap and lost some positions,” he said. “I was sitting in a DRS train for most of the remainder of the race, and it was very difficult to pass.”

After running 24th for much of the opening race, Crawford attempted an aggressive pass in the first turn on the final lap, but locked the front wheels and had contact with a competitor. That move not only dropped him to a 26th-place finish, but a resulting penalty resulted in his starting 30th for Saturday afternoon’s second race.

“On the last lap I went for a move and ended up crashing,” he said. “I ended up with a grid penalty for race two and wound up starting last.”

Crawford quickly improved 10 positions on the opening two laps of race two. The remainder of the event went without incident, resulting in a 20th-place finish.  “We were testing some things on the car for the second race and it was fast for two to three laps then it just slowed down with a lot of rear tire degredation, but it was worth trying because we weren’t good in previous sessions either.”

Steady rain greeted competitors for the start of Sunday morning’s finale. Starting 22nd with the rolling start, Crawford was up to 18th by lap five and worked his way to 15th by the 14th of 20 laps on a rapidly drying circuit.

“I had a good start for Sunday’s race,” Crawford said. “I was finding all the right gaps and passed 10 cars in two laps. But after that, the speed stalled out. Race three was very wet. We didn’t think it was going to be wet when I woke up, and then it ended up being very wet just before the start of the race. We were really fast in the wet but once the track started to dry, we lost the speed and the tires started overheating a bit.  All three team cars stalled-out on the drying track.”

His chances for further advancement were dashed by a late-race safety period for a multi-car incident well behind him, resulting in the final three laps to be run under caution.

Crawford now gets three weekends to prepare for his next race, with Round 5 set for August 26-28 at Spa Francorchamps in Stavelot, Belgium. The season ends Oct. 21-23 at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, after Round 6 at Zandvoort on Sept. 2-4

“I’m looking forward to the break,” Crawford said. “I’m coming back to the U.S. for three weeks, and then I’ll be heading back to the U.K. for preparation for Spa.”

His next outing in the Euroformula Open will be at Austria’s Red Bull Ring on Sept. 10-12.

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