Former Red Bull Junior Team Member Believes Chances Improved

After being released from the Red Bull Junior Team at the end of 2023, both Jak Crawford and Zane Maloney believe their chances of advancing in motorsport and reaching Formula 1 have improved, with Maloney joining the Sauber Academy and becoming a reserve driver for Stake F1, and Crawford being recruited by Aston Martin, both making strong starts to the F2 season.

Highlights

– ‣ Red Bull Racing made significant changes to its Junior Team at the end of 2023, releasing drivers Jak Crawford and Zane Maloney despite their strong start to the Formula 2 season.
– ‣ Zane Maloney believes his chances of reaching Formula 1 have improved after leaving Red Bull, citing his growth as a driver and his new roles within the Sauber Academy and as a reserve driver for Stake F1.
– ‣ Maloney made an impressive start to the F2 2024 season, winning both races in Bahrain and maintaining the championship lead after the first two race weekends despite mixed results in Jeddah.
– ‣ Jak Crawford, after leaving Red Bull, joined Aston Martin and feels optimistic about his future in motorsport, having started the F2 season with strong performances and currently holding seventh place in the championship standings.


So, big news hit the track at the end of 2023. Red Bull Racing shook things up, big time. They decided it was time for a change in their Junior Team. Jak Crawford and Zane Maloney? They were shown the exit. Despite kicking off the Formula 2 season with a bang in Bahrain, winning both races, they were out. Odd, right? Both of these guys now reckon they’ve got a better shot at climbing the motorsport ladder, maybe even hitting Formula 1.

Maloney’s story is a bit of a rollercoaster. Joined Red Bull’s Junior Team late in 2022, even snagged a spot as a reserve driver for their F1 squad. Fast forward a year, and he’s out. His first F2 season in 2023? Not stellar, but not without its moments – four podiums out of 26 races. Yet, he’s not down and out. Sauber Academy scooped him up, and now he’s a reserve for Stake F1. Talk about a turnaround.

Maloney’s Optimism Post-Red Bull

Post-Red Bull, Maloney’s not licking his wounds. He’s actually feeling pretty upbeat about his F1 prospects. “Better driver, doing a better job,” he says. That’s his mantra now. Focus on acing F2, and F1 will come knocking. Simple, right? Well, he’s all in on the present, letting his management dream about the future. A solid plan, if you ask me.

2024: Maloney’s Dream Start

And boy, did he hit the ground running in 2024. Bahrain was a dream – wins in both the sprint and main race. Jeddah? A bit of a mixed bag, but he still came out on top of the championship leaderboard after two weekends. Oliver Bearman’s the new kid on the block, though. Missed out in Bahrain but snagged pole in Saudi Arabia. And then, outta nowhere, he’s filling in for Carlos Sainz in F1. Drama, much?

Crawford’s New Beginnings

Crawford’s singing a similar tune. Leaving Red Bull’s nest at the end of 2023 was a shocker. But he’s seeing the silver lining. F1’s the dream, but it’s no cakewalk. Just look at the last three F2 champs. Now, he’s with DAMS, and Aston Martin’s given him a nod. It’s a fresh start, and despite the odd looks in his new green gear, he’s feeling good.

His F2 season’s off to a strong start too. Nabbed second in the sprint race, but then tech issues threw a wrench in the works for the main race. Saudi Arabia was kinder, with solid finishes. Seventh in the championship isn’t too shabby, considering.

So, there you have it. Crawford and Maloney, out of Red Bull but not down for the count. They’ve got their eyes on the prize, and they’re not looking back. Only time will tell how this all pans out, but one thing’s for sure – the race to F1 just got a whole lot more interesting.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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