Manor's demise was “tough” to accept – King

Former Manor development driver Jordan King believes the team's demise was a blow to the hopes of young drivers on the verge of Formula 1 – and says it was “tough” on a personal level.

Manor's demise was “tough” to accept – King
Jordan King, Manor Racing Development Driver
Jordan King, Manor Racing MRT05 Development Driver
Jordan King, Manor Racing MRT05 Development Driver
Jordan King, Manor Racing MRT05
Jordan King, Manor Racing MRT05 Development Driver
Jordan King, Manor Racing MRT05 Development Driver
Jordan King, Manor Racing MRT05
Jordan King, Manor Racing MRT05
Esteban Ocon, Manor Racing MRT05

King became part of the Manor F1 set-up in 2015, and tested with the outfit on several occasions. He drove in free practice sessions in Austin and Abu Dhabi last year, and was considered a contender for a race seat with the team before it collapsed.

The Briton says that Manor's demise was especially unfortunate given how much progress the team had made in 2016, when it only just lost out to Sauber for 10th in the constructors' standings.

“They've generally made a decent car last year, and working with them during the year and making some tests, they were making progress with the car,” King told Motorsport.com.

"And they showed some good turns of speed in some places. They genuinely scored a point on pace - in Brazil it was more kind of who survived, whereas in Austria they scored a point by finishing ahead of half the grid.

“The car was probably the best car they've produced, and generally they put a lot of effort into 2017 rather than 2016. And I for one was quite excited at seeing the development of their '17 car but it was never meant to be.”

Asked whether Manor's exit from the sport was a major setback for his own chances of making it to F1, King said: “Yeah, I think in short term, it is.

"I think it's a blow for Formula 1 in general - the grid is shrinking by near enough 10 percent... which, I don't think is beneficial.

“For everybody in my position as a young driver, it becomes a lot harder when the grid shrinks.”

New ties

King, who is staying in GP2 for a third year straight in 2017, also conceded that seeing Manor collapse was particularly unpleasant given that he'd raced with the Manor Competition outfit at the start of the decade in Formula Renault.

“I've known the Manor guys for seven years now," he continued. "On a personal level, it's kind of tough because you know the people as friends and you know their livelihoods.

"But also kind of from a racing career level it's also tough as well, because that was the best chance I had in short term of getting into Formula 1.

“So, yeah, I've got to make some new ties within Formula 1, but it's a small world and everybody knows everybody, so it shouldn't be tough if I perform correctly.”

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