Jordan King once again confirmed his place as the GP2 series’ top rookie and came away from the Red Bull Ring having banked hard-earned points and valuable experience in the Formula 1-feeder series.
Returning to action in the qualifying sessions after a disappointing end to his last round in Monaco, the former British Formula 3 champion headed to Austria with an enthusiastic outlook.
And the 21-year-old Racing Engineering driver said he could look back on the weekend’s races with both positive and philosophical views.
“What a weekend for speed and performance,” said King. “The team and I are coming away from Austria with points and some great lessons learnt for the next round at Silverstone.”
“I knew I was going into race one with a [three-place] grid penalty, meaning it was even more important to be in the top five.
“Ending the qualifying session four-tenths off pole position pace and eighth on the grid was a positive start, although I knew I had more to do.”
With the post-Monaco penalty applied for Saturday’s 40-lap feature race, King found himself in 11th, battling in the middle of the pack.
“The speed for us was never a problem – we were on race pace – in fact we were definitely quicker than eighth on the grid. I had real difficulty with DRS ultimately meaning I couldn’t overtake Mitch Evans.
“Both Mitch and I were battling with a broken transponder, meaning neither he nor I could use DRS to overtake.
“Saturday’s race was a true test of speed, awareness and tyre management. I moved my way through the grid, eventually reaching fifth place, although after taking my mandatory pitstop I was back to 14th. I had a tough battle with Pierre [Gasly] before the race ended with me securing 12th place.”
King started Sunday’s shorter, 28-lap sprint race 12th on the grid and, despite a tough start he soon settled into a rhythm.
The Harbury driver moved up to eighth by lap two, setting some impressive lap times in the process and eventually finished seventh, bagging his second-highest points haul of the season.
“Sunday’s race showed really good speed, despite the difficult position on the grid and my start,” said King ahead of his home event at Silverstone. “I’m really happy with the progression the team and I are making – it’s another step towards the end goal of Formula 1.
“Learning is crucial, no one race is the same and I’m under no illusions that there’s still room for improvement – but that’s the beauty of racing at this level.
“I’m feeling positive with our progress so far this season and I think we’re in great shape for my home race at Silverstone.”