Consistently strong start toFIA Formula 2 season for MP Motorsport with King taking p4 and p5 in Bahrain
• British star Jordan King makes great start to new FIA Formula 2 campaign
• Rookie Sérgio Sette Câmara posts best finish of P13 on series debut
• King tied for P4 in driver championship, MP also tied for P4 in team battle
Jordan King delivered two fantastic race performances for MP Motorsport during the opening event of the newly branded FIA Formula 2 Championship in Bahrain over the weekend, 15th/16th April, to claim top four and top five finishes – ending the event tied for fourth place in the standings.
Charging through from 11th on the grid in Saturday's 'Feature Race' to finish an excellent fourth, British star King ran as high as third in Sunday's 'Sprint Race' before settling for fifth spot to cap a consistently strong event.
Rookie team-mate Sérgio Sette Câmara was actually the fastest of the two drivers during the opening qualifying session of the campaign in Sakhir, breaking into the top 10 on his debut, but he had to settle for a 13th place finish in round one and 18th place in Sunday's outing – the latter a result of an unfortunate puncture and unscheduled pit-stops early on.
"It's been a very strong start to the season for MP Motorsport in Bahrain, Jordan did a fantastic job in both races and to come away with consistent points is exactly what you need to do in this championship", said MP Motorsport's Tony Shaw.
"Sérgio performed very well, especially in the Feature Race, and the experience gained this weekend will set him up strongly for the remainder of the season. He's the youngest driver in FIA F2 but has already shown he can mix it with some very experienced competitors."
From the sixth row of the grid in round one, King made a sensational start to rocket into the top eight before moving into seventh mid-lap after a dice with Luca Ghiotto. Climbing as high as fifth prior to his tyre change pit-stop on lap 16, the Briton was then seventh when the order settled.
Determined to score as heavily as possible, King made his way back into the top five with six laps to go and then sealed fourth place on the final lap, with a great move at Turn One, to get his season off to a very strong start.
Although initially slipping back off the start, Sette Câmara concluded lap one still in touch with the top 10 in 13th place and he stayed out a lap longer than King during the pit-stop phase. Rejoining in 14th position in the new race order, the Formula 2 rookie eventually finished in the top 12 but a five second time penalty, following a tight battle with another driver, dropped him to 13th.
King began Sunday's 'Sprint Race' from an elevated fourth on the grid with the pole-sitting car not making the start. Producing another exceptional getaway, the MP Motorsport driver leapt into the top three into Turn One but after being edged up on the kerbs at the second kink he had to drop back into fourth.
Following an early Safety Car period between laps two and four, King did slip back to sixth but he battled through again into fourth and after an entertaining scrap with Antonio Fuoco he broke into the podium placings on lap 19. Unfortunately short-lived, King was eventually edged back to fifth before the finish on lap 23.
An initially strong start for Sette Câmara, whereby he climbed into the top 10, came to nothing after sustaining a puncture while in the thick of the midfield action. Pitting at the end of the first lap, as the Safety Car ventured out onto circuit, he had to pit a second time and ultimately ended the race in an unrepresentative 18th place.
Next on the FIA Formula 2 calendar is a visit to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, over the weekend 13th/14th May.
FIA Formula 2 Championship Driver Standings:
=4th Luca Ghiotto, Norman Nato & Jordan King, 18pts; No score – Sérgio Sette Câmara
FIA Formula 2 Championship Team Standings:
=4th Pertamina Arden & MP Motorsport, 18pts