“Other drivers need what Jordan King had for breakfast.”
That is how 2014 GP2 champion and TV commentator Jolyon Palmer described the superb on-track battling by British GP2 rookie Jordan King during last weekend’s double-header at his home circuit of Silverstone.
After falling victim to an overambitious move by a rival during Saturday’s 29-lap feature race, the 21-year-old Racing Engineering driver staged a remarkable comeback from 22nd on the grid to make the top ten in Sunday’s 21-lap sprint race.
The respected commentator continued: “[Jordan had] great race craft defensively yesterday [Saturday] and offensively today [Sunday].”
For his part, King looked back on the weekend with a realistic outlook: “Silverstone would have been the ideal circuit to take away silverware and stand up on the podium; we had the race pace, overtaking skill and momentum. It’s hard to walk away from a weekend knowing you could have been up on the podium celebrating with well-earned points.”
King started Saturday’s race from 13th on a grid in which the top 15 drivers were separated by less than a second.
Using the faster option tyres, he fought his way up to tenth within five laps before heading to the pits to make his mandatory change to the harder prime tyres.
With seven laps left, King held seventh place, but with many of the cars in front of him still needing to pit he was effectively in third place.
But with his worn rubber starting to tell, he was forced to defend from faster cars and on the last corner of the last lap, his Racing Engineering Dallara was tipped into a race-ending spin by Frenchman Arthur Pic.
“I don’t think Arthur did it maliciously,” said King. “It’s just a shame that after I’d gone the whole race without any contact it happened on the last lap.
“I’m still pleased with our race pace, team tactics and overtaking. When I was lying third, I knew I had a lot of work to do to fend off the opposition. I’d have been happy to finish sixth from 13th, but hey - that’s racing.”
King started Sunday’s race from 22nd and made a superb start, beginning a charge that would lead Palmer to exclaim: “The confidence Jordan has on the brakes is sensational.”
After four laps he was 14th and on the fringes of the top ten another four circuits later.
As the flag fell on his home round of the championship, King netted a fighting tenth place, prompting GP2 lead commentator Alex Jacques to remark: “Absolutely magnificent [driving] from Jordan King, an absolutely superb race to come from 22nd to tenth.”
King was left to reflect on a weekend in which fighting spirit went cruelly unrewarded. “My start was good, I was constantly attacking and although it’s frustrating that we didn’t walk away with silverware, I know we did a very good job and we’re in a good position for the next round in Hungary.”