Abu Dhabi performance key to King’s F1 dreams

Manor development driver Jordan King is preparing for his second F1 practice drive.
Manor development driver Jordan King is preparing for his second F1 practice drive.
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Harbury driver Jordan King says “he needs to go out with a bang” as 2016 concludes with a second Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend appearance and the climax to his GP2 campaign.

King will return to the wheel for Manor in Friday’s free practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, taking the place of Esteban Ocon, who is moving to Force India for 2017.

And the 22-year-old, who made his F1 practice debut at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas in October, said that experience should stand him in good stead ahead of his drive at Yas Marina.

“The biggest thing is that I will know exactly what to expect this time and can take everything more in my stride,” said King.

“I won’t be using as much mental energy in the lead-up to the event because I’ve done it before and will feel more in control of the situation.

“Austin was a double challenge as I had to learn the circuit as quickly as I could learn the car.

“I’ve done a good dozen days around Yas Marina over the course of time, so that side of things won’t be a problem.

“I’ll get up to speed pretty quickly, and also I’m out in the GP2 directly before the F1 session, so it’ll just be a case of adapting from one car to the other and adjusting my driving style accordingly.”

King goes into the GP2 season finale lying fifth in the points standings and top British driver but he knows he needs to make a big impression if he is to convince team principals he is worthy of an F1 seat for 2017.

“I need to go out with a bang and finish 2016 with some great results,” he said.

“The last few years I’ve managed to end seasons with decent results and I don’t want this one to be any different.

“I want a solid weekend, at least a podium and as always I’ll be aiming for the win.

“It’s always nice to finish a season in that way and close in on fourth and perhaps even third in the championship.

“My priority is to try and secure a Formula 1 drive, but there is still a lot to be done.”