F1 world champions Red Bull snap up Saffron Walden's Tom Blomqvist
PUBLISHED: 16:13 04 January 2013 | UPDATED: 16:20 04 January 2013
Alexander Trienitz/F3 Vereinigung
FORMULA 1 world champions Red Bull have snapped up Saffron Walden's racing superstar Tom Blomqvist, it has been reported.
The 19-year-old was on the books of rival team McLaren but according to motor racing magazine Autosport he has made the switch to the team which won both the constructor and driver titles in F1 for the third year running last season – becoming the latest recruit to Red Bull’s Junior programme.
“It’s a privilege to be selected,” Blomqvist told Autosport. “You see guys like Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo making it to F1 and Red Bull must think I have the potential to get there too.”
The youngster is set to race in the newly-formed FIA F3 European Championship this year – billed as the “the most competitive young talent series on the planet” – where he is expected to join up with his former team Eurointernational, run by Antonio Ferrari.
Blomqvist was hugely impressive racing for Eurointernational in the German F3 championship last season and the team has previous experience with fellow Red Bull juniors Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kyvat in the Formula BMW series.
Although Red Bull may decide they would like to place their new protege with rival VW teams Carlin or Signature, Blomqvist believes he will race for Eurointernational as planned.
“It’s not 100 per cent, but I’m settled, I’ve won races and Antonio has good contacts with Red Bull, so I’d expect to stay,” Blomqvist added.
The 19-year-old endured a tough start to his debut season in the now defunct F3 Euro Series championship last year but delivered some stellar drives down the stretch to finish seventh in the standings.
He and his ma-con Motorsport team, also competing in the series for the first time, performed admirably against more seasoned opponents having missed out on the pre-season testing many of their rivals enjoyed.
Blomqvist competed in a massive 44 races last year – the most in a season since he began single seater racing.
In 2010, he become the youngest ever winner of the Formula Renault UK Championship when, at the age of 16, he beat the previous record set by F1 superstar Lewis Hamilton.
Blomqvist joined McLaren’s driver development programme at the beginning of 2012 but it now seems the youngster sees Red Bull as his best route into F1.
Despite the reports, Red Bull have not officially confirmed the drivers who will be part of their Junior Team in 2013.