Jak Crawford is no stranger to attending Formula 1 weekends. As a Red Bull Junior Team driver, the 16-year-old Texan attends many F1 grands prix to compete for PREMA Powerteam in the companion FIA Formula 3 races.
But next weekend in Miami, Crawford will be in a new role. He will attend the inaugural F1 Miami Grand Prix as a junior driver guest of Red Bull Racing during an off-weekend on the F3 schedule.
“I get to go to a lot of F1 races, but never just as a spectator with no racing duties,” Crawford explained. “It will definitely be a cool experience. Red Bull Racing invited me to attend while I was in Imola. I will be in the UK then have to fly to Miami, then back to my team in Italy. I like to stay busy, so this is good.
“I get to hang out in the box to watch the race, meet sponsors, do interviews and learn some things you can only learn from watching on the inside. I am certainly not new to being with a race team, but this is on whole different level.”
Crawford is coming off a breakthrough double-podium weekend at Imola. He leaped from 10th to fourth in the F3 standings, only four points behind the co-leaders, 36-32.
The American qualified third and, from his inverted start position of ninth, he took third in Saturday’s sprint race, missing second by less than the width of his front wing. Crawford then took second at the beginning of the final lap of Sunday’s feature race, making up nearly two seconds on the final lap to place second by only 0.654s.
“It was a good weekend, for sure,” Crawford said. “Conditions kept changing during the weekend with the wet weather. I had a good qualifying — I could have been on pole but caught a little traffic. I worked my way through the pack and kept my nose clean in the sprint race, and got a podium out of it. It was wet at the beginning of Sunday’s race but we decided to go with slick tires and I was really coming at the end of the race. I managed my tires well all weekend, because I was very fast at the end of both races.
“It’s a huge confidence booster, coming from Bahrain where I was a bit unlucky with a mechanical problem in qualifying. Now I am only four points back from the lead, so it was a real positive weekend. I could easily be in the championship lead right now if not for the bad luck in Bahrain.”
The next F3 weekend will be at Barcelona on May 19-21. Adding to Crawford’s momentum comes from his last visit to the Spanish circuit last October, where he won two of three races in his final Euroformula Open event of 2021.