A weekend I’d rather forget, says King after Hockenheim disappointment

Racing Engineering driver Jordan King endured a weekend to forget in Hockenheim.

Racing Engineering driver Jordan King endured a weekend to forget in Hockenheim.

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Off the back of two sprint race wins in as many races, Jordan King’s hopes for another trophy-laden weekend were high in Hockenheim.

Unfortunately, events outside his control led to a pair of unrewarding races.

Having qualified eighth for the feature race, just 0.35 seconds off pole, King was buoyant going into the weekend opener.

“We qualified in eighth, which doesn’t sound that amazing except we were just three-tenths off pole, the closest I’ve been all season,” said King.

“It illustrates, yet again, just how tight the field is this season.

“So I was reasonably happy with how I did.”

The 22-year-old made a strong start by passing Pierre Gasly but on lap six, as he turned into the hairpin, he was hit by Artem Markelov who misjudged his braking and slammed into the Racing Engineering car.

This cost the Harbury driver several places and, following a pitstop on lap eight, he was down in 18th place with a lot of work to do.

By the 15th lap he was up to 14th and closing in on Oliver Rowland but, a few laps later, Luca Ghiotto managed to slice one of his rear tyres and he was back in the pits with a puncture.

Returning to the track in 18th again there were only sufficient laps left for King to pass a couple more cars and cross the line in 16th.

He said: “We were looking strong for a podium in race one, certainly a top-five finish, but then on lap six Markelov made a mistake and hit me at the hairpin and I had to pit.

“Later on I got a puncture. It’s like nothing went right. Both incidents were out of my control.”

A post-race penalty for Gasly meant King was promoted to P15 on Sunday’s grid, but a mammoth task still lay ahead.

He managed to pass Nicholas Lafiti at the start but ran wide in turn one and, come lap two was down to 16th.

Then the virtual safety car came into effect and he was promoted to 14th before seizing 13th from Mitch Evans.

The retirement of Antonio Giovinazzi, which resulted in another virtual safety car period, promoted King to 12th and although he climbed two more places, with his tyres now at the end of their life he lost a place on the final lap to take the chequered flag in 11th.

Reflecting on a disappointing couple of days, King said: “Ultimately this was a weekend I’d rather forget but I take some solace in the fact that the speed was there and the misfortune was entirely down to outside factors.

“In race two we knew we had good pace again but passing cars wasn’t easy.

“I overtook some cars but having used an extra set in race one because of the puncture I didn’t have any option tyres left, which hurt the performance.

“Now we start the August break, which I’ll spend training, doing simulator work in Spain and a spot of holidaying with friends.

“However Belgium isn’t far away, the end of August will arrive soon enough and I’ll be hoping for a return to the points then.”