Jordan King proved he is more than ready to take the next step in his single-seater career after a scintillating GP2 Series testing performance saw him outpace a host of more experienced rivals.
After concluding his sophomore FIA Formula 3 European Championship campaign with Carlin ranked an excellent seventh out of 30, the talented young Warwickshire ace switched his focus to 2015.
Weighing up graduation to either Formula Renault 3.5 or the Formula 1-supporting GP2 Series, he wasted little time in lining up try-outs in both.
The first came with British outfit Arden Motorsport at Jerez in Spain, where in among almost 20 competitors - a blend of FR3.5 regulars and fresh-faced newcomers - King wound up inside the top seven in three of the four sessions, scarcely half-a-second adrift of the pace.
The highly-rated Stoneleigh driver then went on to confirm his promise with an even more eye-catching test in GP2 around Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.
King spent two days with Arden International and another with MP Motorsport, completing just short of 150 laps and finishing five of the six sessions well inside the top six.
Twice, he lapped a superb second-fastest and in another session he placed third, outperforming drivers backed by F1 powerhouses Ferrari, Red Bull and Lotus.
The 2013 British F3 champion is now speaking to a number of teams as he carefully assesses his next move.
“I definitely preferred GP2,” said King. “I would describe it as more of a pure racing car - very natural and instinctive, which makes it tremendously rewarding - and I enjoyed driving it a lot.
“I took to it straightaway and we were quick from the word ‘go’.
“I knew many of the MP guys already from back in my Formula Renault days, and like Arden, they gave me an excellent car that I was able to fully exploit.
“It was really beneficial to see how two different teams operate at this level, and being fast with both of them was hugely encouraging and certainly won’t have done my reputation within the GP2 paddock any harm!
“I would say I’m pretty set on GP2 now; not only do I like the car more than FR3.5, but being on the F1 support package means it’s easier to sell to sponsors, too. It has first-rate television coverage and hospitality, and it runs on Pirelli tyres and will have DRS next year - it generally just ticks all the right boxes.
“Both Arden and MP have a strong pedigree and record of success within the sport and both clearly have plenty of potential, but it’s important to stress that they’re not the only teams I’m considering.
“The target is to get a deal in-place before Christmas. If we can do that, then we can really hit the ground running at the start of the new year.”