PREMA Racing and American driver Jak Crawford took another podium place at Imola in Race 2 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship last Sunday.
Starting in P3, the Red Bull Junior driver took a careful approach to tire management, while some of his wet-start contenders got an early advantage.
When slicks eventually proved to be the way to go, Crawford’s work paid off, allowing him to fight back to P2, making the most of his chances.
Ferrari Driver Academy member Ollie Bearman crossed the finish line in P4 at the end of a frenetic race. The British racer was out front all day and even managed to dive into the lead. However, when the tire wear started to take its toll, his pace suddenly dropped and he lost a few spots. On the last lap, contact while fighting for the final podium, and a subsequent penalty, eventually brought him back to P17.
Not far from him, fellow FDA racer Arthur Leclerc finished a majestic comeback from P21 on the grid to P4. The Ferrari Driver Academy Monegasque posted steady gains throughout the race and maximized safety car situations.
Leclerc exits the second round of the championship and is tied for the lead in the drivers’ championship, while PREMA Racing has P1 in the team standings.
Arthur Leclerc: “It was a great race and a great recovery after Friday’s qualifying when we got hit. Yesterday we could have tried to score one or two points, but it’s Sunday that makes the difference in this championship and we took every opportunity in really difficult conditions. We managed to get the most out of it, I’m very happy with P5 and with our comeback.”
Jak Crawford: “It was a good race in very difficult conditions. It was wet at the beginning but we went on slicks knowing it would be dry at the end. I’m very happy with the race, I was having a lot of problems with the tire temperature early on and couldn’t be fast. However, I kept my position and towards the end of the race my tire strategy to save the rear tires paid off a lot. I was one of the few without graining. I’m happy with the result, even though I also wanted the win.
Olover Bearman: “Tough race, eventually P4, I was in the lead after the restart, but I just had a lot of relegation and struggled with the rear tires. In the last five laps I dropped a lot of pace. It was a bit of a shame, but we have made a good step forward, we have to keep working to get that last bit.”