Rossi encouraged King to make IndyCar switch

Rossi and teammate King in Bahrain in 2015 for the GP2 race
Rossi and teammate King in Bahrain in 2015 for the GP2 race

New IndyCar rookie Jordan King said that encouragement from former GP2 teammate Alexander Rossi was a factor in his decision to switch to IndyCar for 2018.

The Briton, who was confirmed earlier today as the road/street course driver in the team's No.20 entry, raced alongside Rossi at Racing Engineering in 2015, and said that the 2016 Indy 500 winner was among those that he sounded out when the opportunity to move to the U.S. arose.

Lucille Dust from asked King if he spoke to Rossi about coming over to the states. Jordan, you were teammates with Rossi back in 2015; what kind of friendly advice did he give you about coming over?
JORDAN KING: I think the most friendly advice he gave me was actually just you'll love it out here.

Rossi leads King at Spa in 2015
Rossi leads King at Spa in 2015

"More from the sense of, I think, how much he's enjoyed himself as he was very focused on Formula 1 at one point in his life and he's gone over there and had some great success.

"Yeah, it was quite nice to hear that from him. We spoke about the car a little bit, driving styles, the feeling you get within the car, what to expect, a little bit more technical stuff, how much it weighs, how that affects the driving style, where you can find performance in general.

"So it was quite nice to hear his view compared to cars that we've both driven before and kind of get my head around how I need to drive it when the day comes.

Rossi on the podium in Bahrain
Rossi on the podium in Bahrain also asked if there were any plans for King to have a go at the Indy 500.

"There's no plans for Jordan to be doing any of the oval races, but we do have a plan and are working on plans to get him in the car on an oval, to start developing that part of his career as he looks to — like he mentioned earlier, he wants to be able to run full-time at some point in IndyCar," said Carpenter.

"So that was an important part of the process, knowing that we could get him in the car for some oval testing.

"So we're still nailing down when exactly that'll be, but he will get the opportunity to do a little bit of oval testing to get his feet wet with that. I think it'll be a good drill to go through, also, just to give him a better idea of what the total capabilities of the car are, even if he's not racing on ovals, just to have an understanding of what the car is capable of when it comes to some of the higher speed road courses, as well.

We also asked Carpenter about the Indy 500 for King.

"There's no plan for that at this point. We don't have any third car plans. For us the biggest gap and thing we needed to focus on was getting this program put in place with Jordan in the 20 car for the road and street courses, and if there's an opportunity that makes sense, you know, with Jordan or anyone else for that matter to run an extra car at Indy, we'll evaluate that. But it wasn't part of these discussions."

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