Edging ever closer to the all-important 16th birthday that will make him eligible for the opening Formula 3 race weekend, Hitech Grand Prix’s Jak Crawford feels he has learned a lot from the four-days of pre-season testing, citing an improvement on tyre management in particular.
The American racer, who turns 16 on May 2, was third fastest overall in Austria and punched in 178 laps, the most of anyone on the grid. Running an identical number of laps in Barcelona, Crawford finished 11th in the order, but feels he gained a lot from the tests they completed in a variety of conditions.
“I feel like I have improved a lot just doing lots of laps,” said Crawford. “I think I’ve improved the most on the new tyre runs, extending the life of the tyres. I think I have done quite well in this area on the tests we have done. I think I have learned a lot on race runs too. I feel I know more about both the car and the tyres.
“I’ve adapted well, and we’ve tested in a lot of different conditions: the cold, the wet and the warm, so I am pretty confident when it comes to race runs and Quali sims now. I just need to put it all together for the first round.”
After a chilly two-days in Spielberg, Crawford was able to get to work in slightly warmer weather in Barcelona, which meant that tyre wear was more representative to a race weekend.
He continued: “There was more deg here than at the Red Bull Ring, so we were able to try a one-lap quali sim, which was a big change to what I was doing last year when we had five or six push laps. Now it is just the one.
“In the race runs, you cannot push all of the time either. You are constantly managing the tyres and that is a struggle throughout the race. I think things have gone quite well though, and now I will just keep training and go over some last-minute things for the first race weekend.”