Jordan King left Spa-Francorchamps with only three points for a hat trick of tenth places, but the results of the races do not reflect the pace the young Briton possessed around the Belgian track. The Carlin driver was always out of position due to unfavourable results in qualifying that were out of his control, but he fought back tremendously to take a point in every race.
He feels the track at Spa is one of the best on the FIA European Formula 3 Championship calendar, and one that drivers can make overtaking manoeuvres on and provide exciting races for the spectators.
“Spa is fast-and-flowing and a circuit that everybody loves because it tends to generate exciting, entertaining racing and plenty of overtaking,” insisted King. “Eau Rouge is probably the most famous corner in the world and it’s flat-out in an F3 car, which is awesome. It’s just a proper drivers’ track, and immensely rewarding.”
The qualifying sessions for King in Belgium were disappointing to say the least. The young Briton suffered a puncture in the first session that left him down in twenty-fifth position on the grid for race one, while the wet second qualifying session caught him out and he would start fifteenth for both races two and three.
“We looked in really good shape after practice and I was confident we could qualify inside the top five, but then obviously we got the puncture in the first session,” said King. “In the second session, we simply didn’t judge the conditions right – we thought it was going to rain more, but it actually dried out instead.
“That’s one of the characteristics of Spa; the weather can change so quickly and you’re never quite sure which way it’s going to go. Ultimately, we got it wrong and it cost us. I ended up the highest of the five Carlin drivers in 15th, which in the circumstances represented the best of a bad situation.”
Qualifying so low meant that the 2013 British Formula 3 Champion was always going to be fighting his way through the pack to get anywhere near the points. In race one, he gained nine places in four laps before taking a point for tenth, a result he matched in race two despite damaging his steering in a clash with another driver. In race three, he stalled on the grid meaning he was forced to start from the back again, but once again he came through to take the final point on offer for tenth.
“The car felt good in all three races and the first one was really enjoyable, although to put in all that effort and still come away with only one point was hugely frustrating – with the pace we had, we should have been battling for the podium,” admitted King.
“In race two, I moved up into the top ten on the first lap but then had to cut the chicane to avoid an accident ahead and lost all the ground I had gained. I also picked up some front wing damage and a bent wishbone after another driver tagged me, which left me with wayward steering.
“It was my mistake at the start of race three and I hold my hand up to that. Whilst the fight back was fun, I would much rather have a boring time on my own at the front than be racing wheel-to-wheel down in the pack – this weekend was certainly the hardest I’ve ever had to work for just three points!”
Reflecting on Spa and his season to date, King feels things have not all gone his way in 2014, and he hopes a trouble-free weekend isn’t far away. He still has high hopes for the rest of the season.
“Things still haven’t come together for us this year, but we’re not even halfway through yet and we will get there,” said King. “All we need is a trouble-free weekend – and once that happens, hopefully we can start getting our season back on-track.”