Jordan King was a happy man after making his Formula 1 free practice debut at the Circuit of the Americas as he took the seat of Pascal Wehrlein within the Manor Racing MRT team in FP1.
The British GP2 Series racer finished twentieth fastest in the session, ahead of fellow Briton Jolyon Palmer and team-mate Esteban Ocon, completing twenty-nine laps.
King felt it was one of the best days of his life so far, with the session flying by as he got integrated in the team, and hoped that the data and feedback he provided could benefit the team for the remainder of the race weekend in the United States.
“Today has been one of the best days of my life,” said King. “I had a massive smile on my face as I drove out of the garage, let me tell you. On the one hand, 90 minutes just flies by. On the other, I’ll probably remember each of my 29 laps for the rest of my life. It really has been a dream come true.
“I’d done a lot of preparation with my engineering team and when the time came I was feeling very confident and comfortable in the car. I’ve always said that the biggest test of my own performance here would be providing data and feedback that makes a positive impact on the team’s performance.
“But at the same time, I’m incredibly happy with my pace, given that I was on the same programme and tyres as everyone else. I had two long runs on the Medium tyre and then a brief shot in between on the Soft, which was pretty typical of the rest of the field.”
King felt the Circuit of the Americas was a great circuit for him to make his free practice debut, with parts of the circuit reminding him of Silverstone. The Briton thanked the team for allowing him the opportunity to replace Wehrlein.
“It’s an incredible circuit,” admitted King. “Really exhilarating to drive, with all the elevation and camber changes. Plus, the section from 3-9 reminded me of home – it’s a lot like the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel complex at Silverstone. When I put the Soft tyres on, it was a pretty special feeling.
“So, yeah, an incredible day for me and difficult to hand the keys back. I want to thank the team for giving me this opportunity and the work they put in to help me make the most of it.”