Manor Formula 1 team's closure hurts all young drivers - King

The demise of the Manor Formula 1 team is a blow for all young drivers, says its former development driver Jordan King

Manor Formula 1 team's closure hurts all young drivers - King

GP2 race winner King was among the contenders for a 2017 seat with the now-folded team, having carried out three tests and made two grand prix practice appearances as part of his Manor role over the last two years.

Manor went into administration in January and was formally closed down at the end of the month.

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

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

Why Manor's demise hurts F1 more than you'd think

He acknowledged that his own path to F1 would now have to be reset.

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

"So 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."

King had been optimistic about Manor's 2017 prospects and felt its defeat to Sauber in the battle for 10th in last year's constructors' championship had been unlucky.

"They made a decent car last year, and working with them during the year and making some tests, they were making progress with the car," he said.

"And they showed some good turns of speed in some places. They genuinely scored a point on pace - in Brazil [where Sauber took ninth] 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."

King's links with the Manor name go back to racing for the affiliated Formula Renault UK arm in 2011.

"I've known the Manor guys for seven years now," he said.

"On a personal level, it's tough because you know the people as friends and you know their livelihoods."

The 22-year-old moves from Racing Engineering to MP Motorsport for his third GP2 campaign this year.

During its seven seasons in F1, which included stints under the Virgin and Marussia names, Manor was responsible for giving Lucas di Grassi, Jerome d'Ambrosio, Charles Pic, Jules Bianchi, Max Chilton, Roberto Merhi, Alexander Rossi, Rio Haryanto, Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon their grand prix debuts.

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