Jak Crawford is targeting an improvement in race pace after taking another Sprint Race podium in Monaco.
The rookie has now been on the podium in each of the last three Sprint Races this season after finishing third in Monaco behind Jehan Daruvala and race winner Ayumu Iwasa.
With only 10 points for a Sprint Race win compared to 25 points for a Feature Race, performing on a Sunday is vital for every driver wanting to challenge for the title.
After the Sprint Race, Crawford said: “I would love to improve race pace and score those big points in the Feature Race, but I think Qualifying has been good this year.”
“Obviously we haven’t been top top consistently but in the top 10 which is giving me these podiums so I think we need to improve the long run pace and put it all together.”
The American driver started the race in fourth, but was promoted onto the podium when his team mate, Isack Hadjar, retired from the race lead with a car issue.
Crawford himself started the race with an issue similar to the one that spoiled Daruvala’s attempts at taking the race lead.
Reflecting on the race, he said: “It was really tough, I actually had the same issue as Jehan at the beginning of the race, so I was also taking it easy the first two laps because I had a puncture warning.”
After the issue abated, Crawford was free to push, but found himself under a lot of pressure from fourth-placed Richard Verschoor.
He said: “I pushed a lot and destroyed the tyres a bit and after that it became difficult and Richard was quite quick, but I was just quick enough to keep him behind.”
“I knew the top two were out of the picture for me, I was just pushing in the right places to keep the podium, in the braking zones and quick out of Turn 8.”
Another solid Qualifying result means the Red Bull Junior driver will start the Monaco Feature Race in seventh. If he finishes there, he will double the six points he gained in the Sprint Race.
Image: James Gasperotti