Jak Crawford Joins Aston Martin


Aston Martin has announced 18 year old, American, Jak Crawford as its development driver. The deal comes on the heels of him landing a new F2 contract with DAMS.

"Jak had a very productive four years being contracted to Red Bull, and we saw this move to Aston Martin as a way to put Jak into an intimate F1 driver development role," said Rick Gorne, Crawford's UK based motorsports consultant. "We believe that the road to F1 is evolving. We wanted smart, purposeful driver development with significant car opportunities and that is what Aston Martin will deliver for Jak."

The programme will establish, not only, a work environment for Crawford in the Aston Martin simulator, but also, critically, will provide the youngster with Testing of Previous F1 Car time, as well as multiple current F1 car sessions over a two-year period. Crawford's role in the team will be varied including serving as a brand ambassador, as well as a reserve and sim driver.

"Jak made a very positive impression with his extensive work in the 2023 F1 simulator for Red Bull, and that was an important building block for this agreement," said Gorne. "He has built up an accomplished reputation on F1 sim machinery as a very fast, consistent driver with exceptional feedback for car development. This experience has become a valuable part of Jak's resume and plays a part in his new role. However, the first priority will always be on Jak's F2 season."

Crawford completed his first year in F2 with Hitech GP. In racing, a season is best judged by comparing teammate-to-teammate. In the case of Crawford in 2023, he won in every category: season ending championship order, head-to-head qualifying positions, race pace, points-paying wins, podiums, and poles.

"Jak has pure pace talent in any sim or car," said Gorne. "There were only seven pole position drivers in F2 in 2023. Six of the drivers were in the top four championship finishing teams, and those drivers were in the top six finishing positions. Jak was the only other pole man.

"It is a spec series, but we all know the teams are not equal. Considering this, Jak was an outstanding rookie in 2023 in our estimation."

F2 staged the traditional 2023 end of season test in late November. Crawford's three-day test with his new DAMS team provided great hope for 2024. The qualifying pace was evident and the race pace was even better. For 2024, Crawford will focus on second year consistency while attacking the F2 championship.

New sponsors will be announced before the season begins.

"I am proud to take this next step in my career," said Crawford. "Aston Martin is a great place to learn and grow, and the programme ahead sounds exciting.

"I cannot wait to start working with everyone - especially on the simulator where I can make a contribution to the team's performance on race weekends. I'm thrilled to get the chance to drive the AMR22 car later this year. It is a big motivator for me to work hard and make the most of this great opportunity."

"A big welcome to Jak as he begins an exciting journey with the team," added Mike Krack. "He has shown great potential throughout his junior career and we look forward to supporting his learning and development as he steps into the AMR22 for the first time.

"As part of the growth of the team we want to offer talented young drivers a valuable development programme and I have no doubt Jak will flourish in this environment. We are fortunate to have state-of-the art facilities and world-class personnel, who will prepare Jak to race at the very highest level."

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Published: 15/02/2024
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