As Manor Marussia F1 Team development driver Jordan King returned to Europe to prepare for the Bahrain & Abu Dhabi rounds of the GP2 season with Racing Engineering , he took some time out to review his experiences of the 2015 season and discuss his prospects for the future.
Jon Wilde (JW): Hi Jordan thanks for your time today, let’s kicks off with what you’ve been up to over the past month or so, How did you find your time with the Manor Marussia Team in Austin & Mexico?
Jordan King (JK): Austin was a great experience; I attended all the briefings and observed on the pit wall obviously there was a lot to take on board for the first week so it was nice to do a second straight after as I knew a bit more about what was coming.
JW: With the rained off qualifying and condensed Sunday schedule. What was the atmosphere with the team like over the weekend in Austin?
JK: The atmosphere was great, it was strange to be at the race circuit working with a team but not have the stresses of driving, but as I say that the race was very stressful as obviously you want the best for the Manor cars and one crashed out and then we were close to getting points so I was getting very into the race and very stressed myself.
JW: How have you found your season in GP2 so far? What’s been the highlight? How have you found having Alex Rossi as your team mate?
JK: GP2 has been amazing this year! It really has been a childhood dream for me to race in the series so I do feel like I have come a long way in my career but there is still a long way to go. My highlights have been the first race coming from last under safety car to finish 4th and finishing 2nd in Spa, although I was a bit annoyed as I wanted, and could have won! Having Alex as my team mate has been great he is incredibly experienced so has had a lot to offer the team and has helped my development and understanding as well.
JW: What are your expectations for the final rounds of the GP2 calendar in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi?
JK: I would really like to get a few more podiums which I know are manageable. Moreover I want those podiums to be in the feature race not just the sprint.
JW: What plans do you have for 2016? Do you expect to stay with Racing Engineering and GP2? Can we expect to see you behind the wheel of a Manor F1 car in testing or free practice sessions?
JK: I am planning to stay in GP2 and that will more than likely be with Racing Engineering I don’t see any reason to move and I’ll be doing all 3 days with them in Abu Dhabi testing to work on next year.
I am working towards getting in an F1 car but you know how this world works it is very hard!
JW: Are you still targeting to be on the F1 grid for 2017? Is F1 still your key focus?
JK: Yes. 100%!
JW: Has the Manor Mercedes partnership had any impact on your plans?
JK: no, not that I am aware of anyway.
JW: You’ve had some great sponsors supporting your career, how important do you think it is for a driver to focus on developing commercial deals as well as developing skills on track?
JK: I think it is just as important as any part of driving as the model of Motorsport at the moment is you need to bring commercial partners with you so without them the results don’t count and without results the commercial partners don’t come, so it’s a catch 22.
JW: Is your father still involved in the Manor management structure? After the difficulties of last season the team seem to have been able to bring stability and finally build towards a competitive future, what changes have you seen in the team since joining?
JK: He helped get the team back on their feet but has really taken a back step since then and started other work. As for the team they are making steps, small steps but steps and it does look like they are heading in the right direction long term.
JW: What advice would you offer to anyone trying to get into Motorsport today?
Go for it 100%! I have loved every minute of it, it will be stressful and disheartening at times but keep trying and you will have a great time while living your dreams!
Thanks to Jordan for this fantastic insight into the world of a driver moving up through the development path. Congratulations on qualifying an excellent 5th on the grid for tomorrow’s GP2 feature race in Bahrain , and we hope to see you behind the wheel of an F1 car very soon!
To follow Jordan on Twitter click here.