With the 2022 Formula 3 season done and dusted, there’ll be plenty of time for Jak Crawford to kick back and relax. Off the back of his seventh-place finish in the Drivers’ Championship, we caught up with the PREMA Racing driver.
Get to know the Red Bull junior better as Crawford fills us in on his first racing memories, memorable maiden victories and why there’s lots to love about being a racing driver.
NAME: Jak Crawford DATE OF BIRTH: 02/05/2005 NATIONALITY: American 2022 NATIONALITY: PREMA Racing
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
“I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in the USA, but I actually grew up in Houston, Texas. We moved there when I was young and that’s where I grew up.
“Where I live, I’m sort of out in the country. I’m not really close to anyone, and we live alone on our property, so it’s quite nice. We’ve got our own land where I have quads and all that, that I can play around with.”
FIRST RACING MEMORY
“I still remember the first time I was in a go-kart; I think I was four or five years old. I was driving in a parking lot on my little go-kart. I remember driving and I thought I was crazy fast, even though I was going really slow!
“I also remember my first race when I turned six. It was only me and another guy, and the other guy was a lot more experienced and was quicker than me, but he broke down on like the final lap, so I ended up beating him.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RACING STYLE?
“I’m very analytical, I guess. I like to think things through, I just think about everything before I do it. I know when to take risks, when not to take risks and I think I’m quite good at that. Also, it helps with driving as well, being accurate on lines, braking points and all that.
“My move for the win in the Sprint Race at the Red Bull Ring, I’d been thinking about it before the Safety Car restart. I was already thinking about what I was going to do, and I pulled it off exactly how I imagined.”
WHO IS YOUR RACING HERO?
“The person I most look up to is probably Max Verstappen, just because when I started to watch F1 was when he first started in F1. Before I was a Red Bull fan or anything, I was a Max Verstappen fan because he was super young when he started and he’s exciting to watch."
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST RACING ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“I’d say my biggest achievement was probably winning the F3 race at the Red Bull Ring. I mean, I’ve had other good achievements – I was Vice-Champion in German F4, but that was the biggest one. It felt really good. Obviously, I’d been waiting a year and a half in F3 to get that win and even though it was the Sprint Race, which is not the race you want to win, it still meant a lot to finally get that chip off my shoulder.
“I’ve got the trophy at home right beside my TV, so it’s in my main living room.”
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A RACING DRIVER?
“Getting to go really fast and I’m able to do what I love, travel the world and be with my friends and family at all the races. It’s like a little community, so it’s all really, really fun.
“There’s a lot of really good places I’ve been. As a city, Barcelona was one of my favourites, Budapest is also one of my favourites. There are a lot of really good cities and it’s cool that we get to travel to all these places.”
HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM RACING?
“I don’t do much! I do a lot of gaming; I’ll do a lot of simulator racing – mainly gaming. I have two favourite games. One is iRacing, which is for the simulator and then NBA 2K on my Xbox, which I play a lot.”
FAVOURITE TRACK ON THE F3 CALENDAR?
“Imola - it’s a track I’ve loved since I first drove on it in F4. Then this year, I got to experience it in an F3 car, and it was probably one of the most fun tracks I’ve ever been on.”