As preparations ramp up for his second season in FIA Formula 2 and first as a member of DAMS Lucas Oil, Jak Crawford has expressed his desire to put his name in the spotlight this year.

The American driver makes the move to the French team after a solid rookie campaign at Hitech Pulse-Eight in which he scored his maiden victory at the Spielberg Sprint Race.

But in a year in which he is bidding to take the next step and compete at the front of the field, Crawford’s start at the pre-season test in Sakhir caught the eye. He finished in the top five in all but one session – ending up second in the afternoon segments on days two and three.

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But speaking before jumping into the cockpit for the first time in Bahrain, Crawford said: “I feel really good. I feel really good with the team, very comfortable, especially now with more experience under my belt.

“I am very much looking forward to this upcoming season and as well with the new car it will be super interesting to see how everyone figures it out.”

Crawford’s one win and additional three podiums helped him finish 13th in the Championship Standings last year. But he revealed that he has been hard at work over the winter to improve on certain aspects of his performance ahead of the new campaign.

Crawford enjoyed a good pre-season test with DAMS in Bahrain
Crawford enjoyed a good pre-season test with DAMS in Bahrain

“There's lots of things to take away, and lots of things to improve of course,” said Crawford when asked what he learned from his rookie season. “I was there fighting for podiums, wins and at times poles as well, so just keep that up, I think.

“Obviously we want to qualify better and be higher up in the Feature Race where the big points are and we've done a lot of work on the race stuff as well, which is very important.

“We haven't had much time to try it, but we've been doing as much as we can to improve race pace and qualifying pace in the simulator.”

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The recently announced member of the Aston Martin Young Driver Development Programme gave insight into what is has been liked adapting to a new environment at DAMS ahead of the season.

“It's really good,” said Crawford. “Obviously they are in France, so I have to travel to France quite a bit. But I quite enjoy it, I quite enjoy spending time with the team and with my teammate it's a good environment we have here at DAMS.

“We all work very well together, I think it will be a good season, everyone is working very hard to get ready for the season.”

Crawford is keen to fight in the top three of the Championship this year
Crawford is keen to fight in the top three of the Championship this year

While he admits he still not fluent in French he will at least have Juan Manuel Correa, and Crawford revealed he has been working well together with the American-Ecuadorian driver.

“It's been good working with Juan,” he revealed. “We spent a lot of days already together, always having dinner and lunch together.

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“So, it's quite good to always have a good relationship with your teammate and improves the working relationship as well so there is both sides of it which are going well so far.”

On the track, Crawford will be looking to build on that strong performance at the test in Sakhir going into round one at the same venue and also for the rest of the season.

Revealing what his aim is for the year, he said: “I guess putting my name out there and at the front would be my goal. Top three in the Championship and just putting myself up there. I really want to fight at the front this year so that's the goal.”