Jordan King scored a fifth place finish during his second event in the FIA Formula Two Championship at the Nurburgring in Germany.
The 17-year-old from Warwickshire followed up his impressive debut weekend at Spa-Francorchamps one week earlier.
“I was more confident after Spa, because we had proved the speed was there give-or-take a tenth or two – and I was only going to get faster,” he said. “At Spa, I hadn't really known what to expect, whereas going to the Nurburgring, I felt much more comfortable inside the car.
“Obviously I'd watched F1 races there on TV and had been in the simulator, but all that can only get you so far – you don't get a full perspective of the circuit. It was a lot more undulating than I had been anticipating – every corner leads into another, and there isn't a lot of opportunity to relax!”
King was quick to get the hang of the circuit to post the seventh quickest time in the opening free practice session, before improving to third in the second session.
This raised his hopes for qualifying on Saturday morning, which therefore left him a little disappointed when he qualified in ninth on the grid. He blamed a mistake that cost him 'half-a-second and probably fourth place'.
If his grid slot did not meet his expectations, Jordan well and truly made up for that in the first race.
“I had a really good first corner and got up to sixth. I lost a couple of places further round the lap, but then a few battles kicked off ahead and I regained some ground. A crash later on lifted me to fifth, and that's where I finished, which was a good, strong result and definitely more representative of our true pace – we were consistently quick throughout the race, so I was happy with that.
“I was actually close to the fight over third, but in the final laps they pulled away a bit due to a few small mistakes on my part and tyre degradation. That's all part of the learning process, too, though – getting to know how to make my tyres last longer and how to really get the best out of them.”
Catching traffic at the wrong moment during qualifying on Sunday morning left Jordan down in 11th on the grid for the second race. He made up a couple of places earlier on and caught a four-way battle for fifth, but could make no further progress and would have to settle for ninth.
“Our speed was really good and I managed my tyres a lot better. I overtook a couple of other drivers early on, but after that, whilst I was two or three tenths quicker than the pack directly ahead of me, with the downforce and the nature of the circuit, it isn't hard for someone to stop you from getting past – if they just park their car on the inside and force you to try and go round the outside where there's less grip under braking, there isn't much you can do about it. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't demonstrate my full potential.”
Despite only contesting half of the eight races so far this season, Jordan has moved into tenth place in the drivers' standings courtesy of three points finishes from four starts.
“I'm happy with the speed we showed and the results we achieved at the Nurburgring. Before Spa, I could never have envisaged being in the top ten in the championship now. Formula Two is a big step-up from Formula Renault UK, but I feel I've got the hang of it already – and scoring points in three-out-of-four races and being consistently up at the sharp end is really promising for the future.”
Jordan will complete his three-round Formula Two programme at the next round of the season, at home turf on the Brands Hatch GP circuit.