Testing weekend for King in Hungary
Date: 02 / 08 / 2017
It was an enduring weekend for Jordan King in Hungary as he failed to pick up points for the first time this year despite a strong qualifying performance on Friday afternoon.
The first six rounds of the season have seen Jordan finish in the points in 10 of the 12 races and in at least one race of the weekend; leading Jordan to 9th in the Drivers’ Championship with 49 points to his name.
Jordan’s weekend in Hungary started well; his one-lap pace in the MP Motorsport car was clear to see as Jordan took the fight to the front running teams. Ending free practice in 9th place, Jordan’s time of 1:28.122 was just six-tenths slower than fastest man and championship leader, Charles Leclerc.
With the Hungaroring having the reputation for being difficult to pass on, qualifying played a key role in the weekend’s action for all of the drivers. When the lights went green for the start of the session, Jordan was straight out on track and his first competitive lap time of 1:26.896 put him in 1st place as 15 of the 20 cars made their way around the track.
After a brief red flag paused action to recover Sean Gelael’s stranded Arden, Jordan returned to the track once action resumed and opted to run in clear air as most of the cars waited in the pits for the track to be at its fastest.
Driving right on the limit, Jordan’s choice in the gap paid off tremendously as the 23-year-old went half a tenth quicker to post a 1:26.849 lap time. This lap time saw Jordan finish the session in 4th place but was later promoted to 3rd place after pole man, Charles Leclerc, was disqualified – the best qualifying result of the season for Jordan.
Lining up in 3rd place on the grid for the first race of the weekend, Jordan got off the line well but lost ground on the front row as the front two got lightning starts and pulled away from the pack.
Fending off pressure from Nicholas Latifi, Jordan kept his 3rd place through the first lap but couldn’t shake the Canadian off and had to go defensive into turn one on the second lap. Placing his car perfectly through turn one, Jordan kept Latifi at bay through the opening laps but it seemed like a matter of time before the Dams driver would overwhelm Jordan with his quicker car.
After eight laps of tough racing trying to keep Latifi behind him, the Canadian eventually found a way around the outside of Jordan at turn one. With Latifi now past him, Jordan put himself on a different line to Latifi in an attempt to get a run on him. However, Jordan left the door open for Nyck De Vries who went down the inside of turn two and demoted Jordan to 5th place.
After losing two positions, Jordan decided to shoot into the pits at the end of lap 9 and a good stop from the MP Motorsport team saw Jordan rejoin the race in 14th place.
Keeping to himself and slowly making his way back up the order as others came into pit, Jordan was running in seventh place with just 10 laps remaining when we saw the weekend’s first safety car deployed and the pack was brought together for a dramatic finale.
When the safety car pulled in and normal racing resumed, Jordan tried to go around the outside of Gustav Malja at turn one. As Malja struggled for grip, he briefly lost control and had a moment trying to save the rear of his car. With Jordan on the outside, he was forced to take action to avoid a collision with the Swedish driver and as Jordan ran off the track to avoid Malja; Luca Ghiotto, Charles Leclerc and Norman Nato all managed to get past him and demoted him three places down the order.
With a loss of momentum, Jordan tried to fight back heading up the hill to turn four and had a good run on Norman Nato. On the racing line and in front of Nato, Jordan and Nato hit the flat out turn four side by side – a recipe for disaster. Nato stayed on the inside and pushed Jordan off the track on the exit. As Nato stayed on the track, not leaving Jordan room, Jordan left the track and came back onto the racing surface as quickly as he left.
However, Jordan was deemed to have rejoined the track in an unsafe manner and was handed a time penalty. Eventually crossing the line in 11thplace, Jordan was eventually demoted to 15th place after his time penalty had been applied to his finishing time.
Jordan reflected on a tough afternoon.
“Ultimately we didn’t have the pace to fight at the front today. The start of the race was ok but as the race went on the car just began to lose performance. I seemed to be on for some good points before the safety car and after the restart I got pushed off the track twice which ruined my race.”
The second race of the weekend saw Jordan line up in 15th place for the start of the race. Getting off the line well, Jordan managed to stay away from any drama on the first lap and safely negotiated his way up to 11th place before the end of the first lap!
A relatively quiet race for Jordan saw him stay within touching distance of the top ten for the most of the race but as they hit the final stages of the race, Jordan began to drop away from Sean Gelael in 10th place and fell into the grasp of Artem Markelov.
Jordan eventually made it into the top ten after a retirement for Malja but Markelov passed Jordan with three laps remaining and took the final points scoring place away from Jordan.
Crossing the line in 11th place, Jordan rounded off a tough weekend in Hungary and is already looking forward to Spa in a month’s time.
“This weekend just wasn’t our weekend! We started off well and got a good result in qualifying but in the end, we didn’t have enough over the races. It’s nice to have the summer break now where we can all relax and fully prepare for Spa where we will be back fighting for points.”
Spa-Francorchamps plays host to the next races on the 25th – 27th August as we reach the eighth round of the FIA Formula 2 season.
Round Seven – Hungaroring
Practice: 9th (1:28.122, +0.6 06)
Qualifying: 3rd (1:26.849, +0.581)
Race One: 15th
Race Two: 11th