Jordan King survived the challenge of Luca Ghiotto and a rain shower in the closing laps of the Sprint race at Silverstone on Sunday, and admitted that both issues gave him some worry.
The Racing Engineering driver secured his second GP2 Series Sprint race victory of the season, leading from start to finish at his home track from pole position, but he admitted that the pace shown by Trident Racing’s Ghiotto in the middle of the race gave him some alarm.
“The start for the initial launch was good, the second phase was not so good, but then the third stage was good so I managed to maintain the lead,” said King on the official GP2 Series website.
“Then it was more about controlling the race, pushing enough and in the right areas, saving in the right areas, and we really struggled with the left front here with low temperatures and high speed corners: everyone on the podium were discussing it, and we had the left front problem!
“The guys on the pit wall were a bit more stressed about Ghiotto catching me, but I felt I had it all under control: a couple of times I told them ‘leave me alone, guys’, I don’t know if they broadcast it!
“I was more worried about his pace in the middle of the race, to be honest, because he caught up very quickly, and I think he was one second quicker than me and I didn’t have the pace to go that much quicker.
“But it was more about using my brain, think about it and have good exits and be quicker where I need to defend, and it was good to know I had a lot in reserve to think about these things. At the end of the race he closed back up again, but for me that was more about bringing it home than a lack of speed.”
King also admitted that the rain shower in the final stages of the race made it tricky for him to stay on track, not knowing just how hard to push, but he was able too maintain his position over Ghiotto to add the Silverstone Sprint race win to his Red Bull Ring victory the weekend before.
“And then the British weather came good and it started to rain,” said King, “and I’d rather it didn’t because I was quite comfortable at that stage, I had a 3-4 second lead I think, a nice buffer and in cruise control with 3 laps to go, and it started to rain!
“I locked the front into Brooklands and then I thought ‘I’m struggling a bit now, I don’t want to throw it off’. But I think the way to describe the race is I did just enough, I controlled it and didn’t push too much but just enough, and did what I needed to do to cross the line first.”
King feels he has turned his season around and is now a genuine championship challenger, sitting only fifteen points behind points leader Oliver Rowland and being one of only two multiple race winners in 2016 alongside Antonio Giovinazzi.
“The last 3 weekends we’ve got from over 40 points from the lead to I think 15 now: we’ve turned the championship around, although it was annoying to drop points in Monaco on my own doing, and a bit of a mess up in Baku,” said King.
“Without those we might be leading, but it’s the same for everyone up and down the pitlane, but it’s good to know we can do, the championship is wide open, and you see after every race the lead changes. There’s half a season left to go, so there’s a lot left to play for.”