Jak Crawford was with no doubt the great revelation of the 2021 Euroformula Open. The young Texan won eight races in his rookie season with Team Motopark although he had to wait until his 16th birthday before he could join the grid. The impression he set is enough to convince his team principal and all observers is that he will make it to Formula 1.
At Portugal’s Algarve track back in May, Crawford had to watch on until race three on Sunday when - after a rush to get the paperwork filed so he had the required license - he got to join the field from the back of the grid. On his 16th birthday, he charged up the order to seventh.
On just his second start in the series he took victory, pole and fastest lap at Paul Ricard and followed that up straight away with another win from sixth on the reversed grid where CryptoTower Racing Team’s Louis Foster and Motopark team-mate Cameron Das followed him home again. From there it was a similar story at the next three rounds he contested, with three poles out of three and another four wins.
Missing two events due to clashing commitments, in addition to the opening two races of the year, ruled Crawford out of title contention but it didn’t stop him from enjoying the returns of his season, which he still finished third overall in the standings.
“It was a good season,” he said. “It was a shame we didn’t get to do all the rounds to see what I could have done. But happy with what I’ve achieved and what I’ve learned, and happy to get eight race wins as well. I loved the team, I love the atmosphere, I love working with all the engineers and the mechanics, and they produce a great car as well. Super happy, and definitely can’t complain.”
He is set to secure a seat at a top team on the Formula 1 support bill in 2022 with his backing from Red Bull. Just two years ago Yuki Tsunoda was racing for Motopark in Euroformula as a Red Bull junior, and he’s now about to embark on his second season as an AlphaTauri driver in F1 so there is a clear path to the top for Crawford.
“He’ll definitely progress very well in FIA F3, Formula 2 and hopefully in F1 because I think he’s an exceptional talent,” Motopark’s team principal Timo Rumpfkeil said of Crawford. “Obviously the results he’s delivering at this stage are really very, very high level, and I’m confident that he’s going to move up quicker.”
All those who followed his first season in Europe can’t agree more. The ‘Texan kid’ has definitely the speed, the natural talent and the right attitude to reach the summit. Write down his name…