King set to pay the penalty after Monte Carlo bust-up

Jordan King had contrasting fortunes on his Monte Carlo debut.
Jordan King had contrasting fortunes on his Monte Carlo debut.

A promising debut weekend in Monte Carlo which saw Jordan King pick up two GP2 Series points ended on a sour note with the 21-year-old forced to visit the hospital after a race-ending collision.

Cars were split into two groups for qualifying to reduce traffic problems on the narrow street circuit and King was in the group hit by rain.

Despite the tricky conditions, he set the fourth-quickest time, which translated into a highly respectable eighth on the grid for his first competitive outing in the Principality.

A clean start allowed King to settle into a rhythm for the first of the weekend’s two races - the longer, feature race with compulsory pitstop.

King’s pitstop on to the prime tyre went smoothly but a virtual safety-car period dropped him down to 12th before racing reconvened.

“I got my head down,” he said, “and it transpired that the prime tyre became quicker than the option, allowing me to pass a few cars and take ninth at the flag for two championship points.

“It was a very rewarding damage-limitation exercise - and to be top rookie and best of the Brits was great.”

Just one slot away from reversed-grid pole position for the second race, the shorter sprint event, King lined up ninth with more hard work to do.

“I lost a couple of places on the first lap having got stacked up a bit in traffic,” he said. “But my speed was good. I had a great battle with DAMS driver Pierre Gasly, which was pretty entertaining.”

Unfortunately, with little margin for error, the two cars collided, sending King into the barriers and retirement.

“It was a disappointing end to the weekend,” admitted King, who was handed a three-place grid penalty by the stewards, to be taken next time out in Austria, for his part in the incident.

“Pierre and I have chatted about it and everything’s fine - it was one of those things.”

A check-up in hospital revealed bruising for King but no serious injuries.