Tom Blomqvist: “I feel I’m ready for the next step”

Tom Blomqvist is a multiple race winner in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship with the Jagonya Ayam with Carlin team in 2014, but finds himself sitting fourth in the championship behind Esteban Ocon, Max Verstappen and Lucas Auer. After starting the year positively with a win first time out at Silverstone, Blomqvist season has been one of highs and lows in 2014.

He has won races since around the streets of Pau and at the Hungaroring, but has too often been fighting for the lower places of the top ten. Some of those results have been down to bad luck, while others he admits were mistakes of his own doing.

“[2014 has been] a bag of mixed results,” said Blomqvist to The Checkered Flag. “Ultimately we haven’t been consistent enough. I have also had my fair share of bad luck too, which set me back at Hockenheim with the engines penalties and the clashes at Norisring. I lost a lot of points at those rounds.

“I’m a little disappointed in myself for a few errors I have made but we have also had some bad luck along the way. Anyhow there are still 4 remaining rounds and we will go out there and win as many races as possible.

“Of course I am a little disappointed, the start of the season looked promising but there have been too many occasions when we lost points or didn’t maximise our weekend. We have the speed there’s no question about it, we just need to maximise qualifying; it has let us down at times this year. We have been competitive and mostly all circuits but we need to be more consistent.”

The races in Hockenheim were a big disappointment for the Briton, after he was forced to change his engine that saw him take ten-place grid penalties for two races in Germany and one in France, compromising his races. The fact he was quick enough to take pole position in both races in Hockenheim was a bitter pill to take, and he could not recover sufficiently to secure a podium finish.

“The engine penalty was a big blow to our campaign; I lost two poles and possibly two wins,” said Blomqvist. “Then again I lost out at Pau. I lost a lot of points there. I have been quick at every venue so I know I will always be up there. There are definitely areas that we could have done better in, but there is four rounds remaining and we will iron them out! Overall it has been ok, not exceptional otherwise I would be leading.”

He got back onto winning ways in Pau and then at the Hungaroring in Hungary. His Spa-Francorchamps weekend was compromised by a strategy error in qualifying, but he felt the races were fun as he fought back through the field to take points in each race.

“Hungaroring was a good win, I started second but got the lead off the start, we pretty much dominated that race,” said Blomqvist. “I have also had some good fight back races at Spa when we had an issue in qualifying. They were great fun!

“[Spa was a case of] damage limitation, simple. It was fun and there was good racing but again we made a bad call in qualifying and it cost us dearly.”

The Norisring was a very disappointing weekend for the Briton. Despite showing good pace throughout, and in every race challenging for a podium finish, he left the event in Germany having taken only one point all weekend.

“It was most probably one of the hardest weekends I’ve had,” admitted Blomqvist. “We were very quick and I was in podium positions in all 3 races, yet I scored one point! It was hard to swallow. I just couldn’t seem to do anything right.”

In Moscow last time out, Blomqvist took another podium, but the tiniest of jump starts in race three eliminated the possibility of a challenge for the win, and the Briton was once again unhappy with his weekend.

“Again it wasn’t my weekend,” said a disappointed Blomqvist. “We had the pace but didn’t capitalise. My jump-start was very very small and like the rest of our year certain things have gone against us.”

The Briton is still looking to get the best possible result from the season, even if the championship is looking less and less realistic with every passing weekend. He is determined not to give up, and despite it being his third year in the series, feels ready to move onto the next level in 2015.

“I’m still gunning for the best possible result [in 2014],” admits Blomqvist. “I don’t think about the championship now anyhow as I know it will be a tough ask. That’s why I’m just thinking about race wins. I will be taking risks, as I have nothing to loose. No one cares about second.

“I knew I always had the pace, just the past couple of years I haven’t had the right machinery so it’s been extremely tough. It’s hard to say because people look as see it’s my 3rd year… For sure that helps but I think I could have done just as good a job in my first year if I had the right tools at my disposal. The tough years have made me tougher mentally though so I have to take the positives from that. I feel I’m ready for the next step that’s for sure.”