Jak Crawford claimed his first podium finish with PREMA Racing at Imola at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari as the FIA Formula 3 Championship kicked off today with Race 1.
The Red Bull Junior American managed a badly disrupted race with safety cars and contacts and after delivering a solid race, staying out of trouble, he eventually reached P3 at the end with a stunning pace from P9 on the grid.
Teammates Oliver Bearman and Arthur Leclerc got their share of trouble. The British racer had a few offs as he faced overcrowded competition, especially in the opening stages. Starting from P11 due to an impeding penalty from qualifying, Bearman eventually finished in P13.
Leclerc started from P21 after crashing out of qualifying. The Monegask recovered well and even managed to take P12, but a late off pushed him back to P14.
“Very difficult race. As expected, it was very difficult to overtake. I got close to fighting for the points, but then I tried to put up some resistance in T6, which didn’t work, so I ended up in the gravel and lost a couple of positions. From there it was hard to come back. On to the next one, we will try to take every opportunity and not make the same mistakes.”
“It was a good race, I had a good start, but I was in a box. There was a lot of chaos and it was tight in Turn 2. Other than that the race was positive. It was difficult to overtake as everyone had DRS, but I got to P6 quickly and after that there were a lot of safety cars. There was always something happening in front of or behind me. But the speed was really really good. By the end of the race, if we had clear laps, we could have won the race, but I’m still happy with the pace.”
“It was a pretty tough race. I got pushed off me in Turn 2 at the start of the second lap and went back quite far. I started moving forward again and I had a really good pace, but another convergence got me back again. My position was like a yo-yo going back and forth. It was a good learning experience for tomorrow, we have to sort everything out.”