INTERNALLY, I HAD A MASSIVE SMILE!
Jordan King reflects on his debut at a Formula 1 Grand Prix after driving for Manor Racing in Free Practice 1 at Austin, Texas last week
Date: 28 / 10 / 2016
How did it feel to drive in an official session at a Grand Prix?
“The whole experience was something very special. It’s difficult to put into words when you’ve spent 12 years of your life – half my life – pushing towards something and you achieve it. For that 90-minute session alone I probably put in 40 hours of preparation work. The only way I can describe it is that afterwards I just felt really content. Internally, I had a massive smile! I delivered under pressure, I didn’t make a mistake, I did everything I needed to and I accomplished one of my goals.”
What was your programme during the Free Practice 1 session in Austin?
“We did a mixture of everything really. The team wanted to get a balance check on a longer run, then we did a shorter run and then another longer run. We worked on balance, tyre degradation and performance.”
How did you feel it went?
“Very well. Everything was very solid. It was a new circuit for me, so there was a lot to learn. But overall it was a very positive day and everything went in the right direction. The car stayed in a straight line, the team got the data it needed and I think I did a reasonably good job.”
You were in the media spotlight in the days leading up to practice session. How did you find that?
“Not too bad. My dad said to me, ‘as soon as you get to the airport, just focus on being the best racing driver you can be’. That’s all I did. You are so engrossed in the process. As I was getting my kit on to get into the car I looked up and there was a camera about a foot from my face. I was so focused on doing the job in hand I hadn’t even realised what was going on around me.”
After the session you headed for the Radio 5 Live commentary box for FP2. How was that experience?
“Really good. I know the commentator Jack Nicholls well and it was an enjoyable experience. In years to come I can even see myself having a career in that world, perhaps! They enjoyed it because I gave an insight from a very special angle, from a driver who had been in the car just a couple of hours earlier. It was a unique moment to share my experience while it was still fresh.”
What happens between now and the GP2 season finale in Abu Dhabi?
I’ll be going to Spain for three or four days to visit my team Racing Engineering to do some simulator and preparation work. I’ve also got a fitness test down in Bath. I have a training camp over the winter at Bath University, so I’m heading down there to be put through my paces ahead of that. Obviously I’ll also be following events in the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix along the way.