Blomqvist drops to fourth in the F3 European championship after Norisring retirements

Tom Blomqvist (car 31) chases down race leader Max Verstappen at the Norisring in Germany. Tom Blomqvist (car 31) chases down race leader Max Verstappen at the Norisring in Germany.

Thursday, July 3, 2014
10:33 AM

A frustrating weekend at Germany’s Norisring saw Walden’s Tom Blomqvist drop from second to fourth in the Formula 3 European Championship.

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The 20-year-old once again showed strong pace but was hampered by errors from his fellow drivers as he crashed out in two of the three races.

In race one, having started on the second row of the grid following an impressive showing in qualifying, Blomqvist had high hopes of a strong result.

But contact with 16-year-old Max Verstappen meant the Carlin driver was forced to pit for repairs.

Speaking afterwards, Blomqvist said: “I got a good start and passed Verstappen off the line, then there was a safety car on the first lap and at the restart I could have probably passed [Esteban] Ocon but I was maybe a bit indecisive and I didn’t really capitalise.”

He added: “On the second lap I was determined to pass and the gap was a bit bigger but again I think I braked a little too early. Max got up the inside of me and I ran into the back of Ocon and lost my front wing.

“Then at the second safety car I had to pit. I was at the back and managed to get up to tenth – it could have been better but it was my mistake in the first place. I’m just frustrated with myself to be honest.”

The second race of the weekend saw Blomqvist start from third. He jumped up to second at the first corner before a red flag halted proceedings because of heavy rain. At the re-start, Blomqvist was forced wide into the exit of turn one, before a shunt by Ocon meant the Carlin driver’s race ended with his car in the barrier.

There was still optimism for race three as Blomqvist started on the front row of the grid. Unfortunately, not for the first time during a trying weekend, luck was not on his side as early on in the race teammate Jake Dennis out-braked himself and crashed into the side of Blomqvist’s car.

The Walden man was forced to retire from second place as Verstappen collected his third victory of the weekend and sixth in a row.

The Dutchman is now 74 points behind championship leader Ocon as the drivers head to Moscow on July 11-13.

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