Jordan King says he will treat his debut season in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018 as a “learning year” before setting his sights on a full-season drive in the future.
Ex-Manor Formula 1 youngster King was announced as the road and street course driver for Ed Carpenter Racing’s #20 entry in the 2018 IndyCar season last week, filling in for team boss Ed Carpenter – who only races on ovals – at those events.
The recent Formula 2 and GP2 racer will make his IndyCar debut at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March, but said he is staying fairly relaxed about setting any targets for his debut campaign.
“For the season, I’d like to keep myself a little bit more open,” King explained.
“I don’t want to put blinkers on myself straightaway before I’ve got in the car.
“I want to be like a sponge, absorb everything I can, try everything I can, and obviously do – certainly if I can win races, perfect, but it’s very much going to be a learning year for me.
“The longer goal is to become a full-time IndyCar driver and work towards greater things in the future.
“For me, it’s really just being a sponge next year and having the best success I can have in my rookie year.”
Carpenter is hopeful of seeing his team return to the front of the field in IndyCar this year after a winless 2017, and while he has cooled expectations for King’s debut season, he has high hopes for the future.
“I think obviously as a team, we have expectations to win races. We underperformed in that regard last year,” Carpenter said.
“But at the same time, I think we have to be realistic with Jordan. I think we’ll all have a better idea and be able to set some goals for himself and us as a team as we get further into this process of working together and with the new car.
“But I always have an expectation of winning races, and from my viewpoint, Jordan wouldn’t be a part of the team if we didn’t feel like he was the calibre driver to be able to make that happen.”