Tom Blomqvist laments frustrating weekend at Austria’s Red Bull Ring
PUBLISHED: 13:28 03 June 2013 | UPDATED: 13:28 03 June 2013
Dutch Photo Agency/Red Bull Content Pool
TOM Blomqvist strengthened his grip on sixth spot in the FIA European Formula 3 standings despite enduring an incident-packed weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
The Eurointernational driver spoke of his frustration at not converting strong race pace into more points after a “mind boggling” display in the rain-affected qualifying sessions left him with his work cut out.
Starting 19th in race one, Blomqvist fought his way up to ninth before being spun by rival Lucas Wolf as the pair battled for eighth place with Dunmow’s Alex Lynn. That dropped the Red Bull Junior driver back to 18th, although he did gain a place before the chequered flag dropped.
Saturday’s second race gave Blomqvist the platform to further showcase his overtaking skills in front of Red Bull Racing advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, and he duly delivered by notching up an eighth-place finish following a sensational drive from 18th on the grid. That included a fastest lap within 0.03 seconds of the quickest in the field.
The Saffron Walden racer’s weekend was then brought to a premature end in the final event as he was taken out on the second lap while running 14th. Blomqvist looked set to make a push for another points finish after moving up from a 15th place starting spot. But his charge was halted when Jann Mardenborough spun at the exit of turn two, his stricken car careering into the rear wheel of Blomqvist’s Dallara-Mercedes.
“It’s been a tough weekend and disappointing not to come away with more points,” the 19-year-old said. “Qualifying was really mind boggling, we changed so much on the car it wasn’t funny!
“We thought there might be an issue with the tyres, we just couldn’t get to the bottom of why we were so far off in the wet.”
He added: “In the first race, our pace seemed quite competitive. Unfortunately though, when I was passing for eighth place at turn one, the other guy missed his braking and hit me. We were three wide, I had a better run on the outside but got turned round.
“Race two was good though, eighth from 18th wasn’t bad at all, but then in race three we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“The race hadn’t started too badly but as I went to avoid the car that had spun, it clipped my rear wheel and that was it – game over.”
Blomqvist remains sixth in the championship on 94.5 points. He is 18.5 points ahead of Felix Serralles and Jordan King, who are joint-seventh, and 35.5 points shy of fellow Brit Harry Tinknell in fifth.
Raffaele Marciello’s lead in the championship was cut from 77.5 to 27.5 points after second-placed Swede Felix Rosenqvist became the first man this season to claim all three victories in one weekend.
Many of the teams are staying in Austria for testing as the FIA Formula 3 European Championship enters a six week mid-season break. The next round will take place at Germany’s Norisring on the weekend of July 12-14.
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