There has been a bit of a break since the last time Formula 2 hit the track but a return to action is fast approaching with Imola and Round 4 of the 2024 campaign on the horizon.

But neither the teams nor drivers would have afforded themselves to let up in their preparations for what’s to come, especially with what some declared as ‘the most important week in the year’ coming last month in Barcelona with in-season testing.

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However, there has been a lot more going on behind the scenes, especially for the drivers and in the case of DAMS Lucas Oil’s Jak Crawford, who has been all across the globe in the last few weeks.


Crawford described his season so far as a “mixed bag”, with the American finishing second in the first Sprint Race of the year in Sakhir. But that was followed by a retirement in the Feature, where an issue in the pit stop saw him lose out on another podium.

He scored solid points in both races at the next round in Jeddah but crashed out in Qualifying in Melbourne after “pushing too much” – although he did recover to take the final point in the Feature Race.

He left Albert Park with a “bittersweet” feeling knowing that while their race pace was strong, he and the team had to address their struggles over one lap. Afterwards, he put that to the side for the time being to spend some time with his family.

Crawford finished second in the first Sprint Race of the season in Sakhir
Crawford finished second in the first Sprint Race of the season in Sakhir

“After we finished our weekend in Melbourne for me it was time to spend some time with my mum,” Crawford revealed. “She was there for the weekend, so I flew to Sydney, took some time off, before going back to the US for a couple of days.

“It was a busy start in Bahrain for testing all the way to the end of Melbourne. So, from my side I just wanted to get away from everything for a bit and just switch off from racing.”

The time away allowed him to “cool off” after a difficult Melbourne weekend. But once he returned Crawford and his engineers spoke as “much as possible” looking at ways they could improve.

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“Once I got back to the UK, which is where I live, I got back into it. I started having meetings with DAMS looking more into the first three rounds. Then we did our preparation for Barcelona, before you know it, we were back in the car, so it all happened quickly.

“We looked into and dissected everything, whether it's from my side, thinking about how I can improve my driving as well as from the team side. We all later came together again at the workshop and examine everything before figuring out the best way to move forward.”


For Crawford, the break in Sydney helped as it gave him a chance to relax both his body and mind, choosing not to “overtrain” having prepared well both physically and mentally before the season’s start.

The Aston Martin Development driver started training again after travelling back to the US and the UK. He then returned to the simulator alongside teammate Juan Manuel Correa with DAMS at their headquarters in Le Mans a couple of weeks later.

Crawford says DAMS had a positive test in Barcelona
Crawford says DAMS had a positive test in Barcelona

He described it as “two or three long hard days” of work in the sim sharpening his driving. They also looked into their tyre warmup issues that hurt them in Qualifying, and their car setup as preparations begun for the in-season test in Barcelona.

This also gave them time to finalise their plans for testing, and with their weaknesses being clear following the first three rounds, Crawford says Barcelona gave them a chance to take steps forward.

“Us as a team, we all agree every race what the plan needs to be going forward and what the main issues are to address,” he explained. “So, luckily for us, we had a test to prepare for, so since Melbourne was not that good on the Qualifying side, we put our emphasis on tyre warmup.

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“It was a good track to test at because Barcelona is very, very tricky for tyre warmup, especially with temperatures this time of year. So, going there we all had a game plan and we all agreed on the best way to move forward.”


After the test, Crawford joked that he had never done as much work as he did across the three days. With all the “unknowns” attached to the new F2 car, the DAMS engineers put him and Correa to work, looking to collect as much data as possible about the new machinery.

But it also gave them a chance to learn more and to solve their Qualifying issues, making for an incredibly positive test.

“The test was good, it was positive,” he declared. “We went through a lot of different things. I've never done so many different things especially with warmup. We also did a bit of setup stuff during the three days, so we were very busy.

Crawford was in Miami with Aston Martin for the F1 Grand Prix
Crawford was in Miami with Aston Martin for the F1 Grand Prix

“I think we have come away very, very satisfied with the test. We've been working hard to dissect our issues that we had in Melbourne, and I think we got to the bottom of it. We figured out the exact reason we were slow and moving forward the goal is now to put it into practice in the Qualifying sessions.”


After leaving Barcelona, Crawford’s attentions with DAMS will turn to the upcoming back-to-back race weekends in Imola and Monaco.

But at the same time, he was fulfilling his duties at Aston Martin which involved being trackside at the Miami Grand Prix. It is just a small part of an enjoyably busy schedule for him before he is back in the car for Round 4 on May 17-19.

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“So, I've been busy doing some simulator for Aston Martin,” Crawford revealed. “Then I flew to Miami for the Grand Prix which was a busy weekend for me on the media side.

“I was able to be with Aston Martin, just watching on and learning some things. Then straight after that I go back for more simulator both at Aston Martin and at DAMS to start my preparations for Imola and Monaco, so it's actually very busy.

“The following weekend I have to go to Berlin for my Formula E rookie test, and then I have to fly back again to Le Mans to do more simulator prep for Monaco this time.

“Then I fly directly from there to Imola so it will be a very busy few days. I'm excited, I like when I am busy. Lots of travel, lots of simulator and lots of fun as well.”