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King to make FP1 debut with Manor in Austin

17 Oct 2016

Manor development driver Jordan King will make his first official Grand Prix weekend appearance on Friday when he drives in opening practice in Austin.

King, 22, had his first test outing with the team in Abu Dhabi late last year, and was last behind the wheel of the MRT05 at Silverstone in July. The Briton is currently fifth in the GP2 standings, with two race wins to his name.

“First of all, I’d like to thank the team for making this possible,” said King. “It’s another big step in the right direction for me, after two really positive tests in the MRT05 which paved the way for this opportunity.

“It’s a dream come true, but at the same time I have a job to do in the car on Friday and I want to make sure I give the team plenty of quality feedback and data to help with their USGP challenge.”

Manor’s Racing director, Dave Ryan, commented: “It will be good to give Jordan his first FP1 session. He’s done a really great job in his development driver role and this opportunity was a planned part of his programme with us. We look forward to getting his feedback and this further opportunity to appraise his performance in the MRT05.”

The team have not yet confirmed whether it will be Pascal Wehrlein or Esteban Ocon that King will replace for the FP1 session at the Circuit of The Americas, but King knows he will have a lot of work to cram into the 90 minutes.

“I’ll be exploring the balance of the car and correlating that with the team’s simulation work,” he continued. “There’ll be some new components to evaluate, along with the tyre specifications for this event. I’ll also be learning the circuit and getting up to speed with the car, which has been developed quite a bit since I last drove it at Silverstone. I can’t wait!”

King, from Warwick, began his single-seater career in 2011 and was the 2013 British Formula Three champion. He joined Manor in 2015.