It was a job well done for Jessica Edgar in Race 2 of the opening round of the 2024 F1 ACADEMY season in Jeddah, as she claimed fourth place. But the Rodin Motorsport driver believes more could have been possible if she hadn’t needed to fight through the field.

Qualifying in ninth, Edgar made up ground quickly, managing to get past both Aston Martin’s Tina Hausmann and PUMA’s Aurelia Nobels with a strong start off the line. From there, the Briton stayed out of the fray and stuck close to Nerea Martí ahead, eventually finishing only six- tenths off the podium following Doriane Pin’s post-race penalty.

Conceding that the pace around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit wasn’t what she had hoped for, she was at least pleased that staying “out of trouble” had helped her to salvage 12 points from her hard-fought efforts.

“Starting P9 and finishing P4, we made up a good few places,” said Edgar. “It was a good race. I kept out of trouble and it paid off. It was tricky to stay out of trouble, everyone was everywhere all the time. It was about just trying to watch what’s happening around and make sure it wasn’t me getting hit!”

She added: “I think it was tougher than I expected. When we tested here a couple of weeks ago, it wasn’t too good and we hoped for a better race weekend. Then Qualifying again was not very good. We struggled for pace the whole weekend and at testing. So, I enjoyed racing at the track. It’s a really cool track, we just struggled for pace.”

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With one victory to her name last season, Edgar has already shown where her strengths lie on race days. However, she recognises that she needs to get the car underneath her across one lap to fully maximise the potential of her race pace.

“I think the biggest positives are that I can race pretty well and stay out of trouble,” she said. “I think that’s the main part and I had to race harder starting from P9 than I would have if I qualified well and was starting near the front.

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“Generally, I think my racecraft is pretty good. I think that’s where I don’t need to work on, it’s my one-lap pace I need to work on – putting a Quali lap together to get to the front to be able to use my racecraft to fight for podium positions.”

Now with over a month off before she hits the track again for Round 2, there is lots of time for her and Rodin to debrief back at base and work on addressing any weakness.

Looking ahead to the race weekend in Miami, Edgar was hopeful that the Florida circuit would be better suited to her, as she looks to return to the top step of the podium.

“We’re always looking to achieve a win,” she said. “So, I’ll just see how we go in Miami, see what the pace is like and just do the best we can. Racing in Miami is pretty cool, I’m looking forward to it. Not testing is going to be hard, but we just have to see how we get on and do the best we can.”