Jordan King’s return to FIA Formula 2 following a season in IndyCar racing got an early boost with a trip to the podium in Saturday’s Feature race on the streets of Baku, but it came only after a convoluted race that mirrored the ups and downs the British driver endured in his part-time North American stint with Ed Carpenter Racing.
The British driver (pictured at left, above) qualified in fifth place but at the start, he was catapulted towards the back of the pack at Turn 1 after his MP Motorsport entry was struck not once, but twice in quick succession. King quickly made his way back through the field with a series of slick overtakes, before the addition of a Safety Car into the mix sliced the breathing space between himself and those in-front.
“Yeah, it was an absolute disaster start,” King related. “We got hit twice at Turn 1: we were hit from behind and then hit again from the side as I was kind of going off the track. I have watched the video and it’s just two people who have gone in there about 20mph too fast, which was obviously a bit annoying.
“Luckily we didn’t get any serious damage, but we were back in 18th place or something by Turn 1. After that we had to work our way through the field and it was pretty good — we had some good pace and overall were solid.
“On the option tires at the start of the race, we had some pretty good pace, and I think that I got myself back into the top 10 afterwards. I overtook a few more people on the prime tire and the safety car then helped me out a bit because it bunched a few of us up. There were two short restarts at the end and I picked up a couple more places.”
King only re-signed with the MP Motorsport in March, but the relationship between himself and the Dutch team stretches way back. The 25-year-old originally drove for the team seven years ago in Formula Renault 2.0, and then raced for it again in Formula 2 in 2017.
“I was really happy after today, both on a personal level and also for the team,” he said. “They have worked really hard and they are a great bunch of guys, who deserve some good results.
“They were just as happy in third as they would have been to get second, especially with how the race panned out. We thought a top 10 would have been good after corner one, really.
“So yeah I am enjoying it. I always enjoy racing cars and when you race at the front it is always good.”