Crawford enjoys double-points weekend in Saudi Arabia

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Crawford enjoys double-points weekend in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah (KSA), MAR 07 - 09 2024 - Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Jak CRAWFORD #7 Dams. © 2024 Dutch Photo Agency

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (11 March 2024) – American Formula 1 hopeful Jak Crawford enjoyed another strong weekend in FIA Formula 2 Championship competition, finishing fifth and fourth to score points in both races at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

The 18-year-old Texan started Saturday’s Feature Race on the front row, and battled for position throughout the 28-lap event, edged out of a podium finish by a mere 0.031-seconds to cap a solid event in his second F2 weekend driving for DAMS Lucas Oil.

“I thought it was a very good points weekend, and it felt like we deserved even more, especially in the main race,” Crawford said. “We also could have another podium in the Sprint Race. I was fast all weekend, which is good, always in the top five in all of the sessions. I feel comfortable at this track. I’ve enjoyed Jeddah in previous years, and it went really well. We’ve been fighting at the front in every single session this year.”

Crawford was fast throughout the event, recording the fifth-fastest time in Thursday morning practice. He put in a lap of 1:42.376-seconds in the closing minutes of qualifying, which was the third quickest time but was elevated to second post-session.

With the top-10 inverted for Friday’s 20-lap Sprint Race, Crawford started eighth but was briefly knocked sideways by a competitor and fell to 10th early on the opening lap. He recovered and then spent the second half of the race battling for position, making four passes in the final eight laps to gain position and charge the checkered flag, scoring a final result of fifth.

“Obviously, I had a bad first lap, and I lost a few positions due to contact,” he said. “It was a fun race. I was really fast, and made some good overtakes. I enjoyed that race, for sure.”

Starting the Feature Race on the outside of the front row, Crawford pulled away in second at the start, and held that position before pitting on Lap 7 to change from super-soft to medium-compound tires – losing several places when other competitors made their stops over the following laps.

“We had a good pit stop; I made the stop because we probably would have been overtaken that lap, so we decided to pit,” he explained. “I came out, and a competitor ran me wide and that destroyed our momentum and we lost a few positions.”

He was running sixth following a brief safety car intervention when racing resumed with 10 laps remaining. He made two passes over the final five laps to take fourth, and briefly held third on the final circuit before being edged out from the podium by inches in a side-by-side finish.

“It was a bit confusion on what was going on late in the Feature Race, because of a safety car and so many cars were on different strategies,” Crawford said. “I wasn’t quite sure where I was going go end up. Then I saw there were two laps to go, and I saw I was in fourth, so I had to had to go for the move. The last corner on the last lap was my final chance, and I just lost out at the line. That was close!”

F2 competitors get a weekend off before the next event, at Melbourne, Australia’s Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit on March 22-24.

“I’m excited for Melbourne,” he said. “That’s where I got my first podium last year (placing second in the Sprint Race). I was fast there, have good history there, and I love the track. But it’s autumn there, so it possibly could get quite wet.”

Photos via © Dutch Photo Agency’