I’ll be giving Austin as big a shot as I can
Date: 17 / 10 / 2016
At Austin’s Circuit of the Americas this weekend, Jordan will make his Grand Prix Formula 1 weekend debut when he drives for Manor Racing in free practice 1 on Friday morning. The opportunity marks another step towards Jordan’s ambition to become a full-time Formula 1 driver in the future. He is looking forward to what promises to be a special experience.
What does it mean to you to be part of a Grand Prix weekend?
I think it shows how far I have come as an individual and as a driver. You dream of driving a Formula 1 car from a young age and then to be a part of a race weekend and be on the circuit with everyone else is something very special. I’m sure it will be quite an emotional day.
You have a job to do for the team. So what is your job on Friday morning?
My FP1 programme is basically about helping to lay the foundations for the rest of the weekend. The plan probably won’t be drawn up until Wednesday or Thursday, but it could be anything from short runs and tyre evaluation, through to some aerodynamic tests. I’ve just got to go out and do the best job I can to help maximise their weekend.”
How are you preparing for this weekend for what will be your first time driving on Austin’s Circuit of the Americas?
I was there last year, so I know the circuit even if I haven’t driven it yet. Today (Monday) I’m spending a few hours on a simulator learning the circuit and understanding what you can do in a Formula 1 car around there. Really it’s about painting as big a picture as you can, while leaving the canvas as blank as possible – if that makes sense? You know what you need to know, and yet leave enough empty space in your learning so you can adapt quickly to the car, the circuit and the conditions. You want to learn as much as you can but not be too tunnel-focused in your learning.
Beyond this weekend and looking toward the long term, Formula 1 has always been your ambition. What are your thoughts at the moment about next year?
As I’ve always said this year, my first focus is GP2. Doing the best I can in GP2 will always stand me in good stead in my racing career going forward. The break in the GP2 calendar has given me an opportunity to focus more on other aspects and show the wider motor sport world what I can do. So I’ll be giving this weekend as big a shot as I can. As for next year, I’m undecided as yet. I’ll be aiming for a Formula 1 team, there’s still a long way to go and there’s still a lot happening in the sport. Although I can always wait until 2018, something could still happen for 2017 – so it’s difficult to answer that question just yet. But my goal is Formula 1 and hopefully that can happen in the next 24 months.
Finally, what are your thoughts about the GP2 finale in Abu Dhabi on November 26/27?
At the very least securing fifth in the points is what I’ve got to aim for. That’s where I am at the moment and there is no reason why I can’t maintain or improve upon that position. It would be nice to pick up fourth and even third, which we are capable of doing with a very good weekend. But I find going into the last race weekend of a season it’s not so much about the championship and stressing out about that. If you just focus on doing the best job you can, as you have all year, the results will come. So not focusing on the bigger picture is generally the best way to go about it.