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Blomqvist recruited by Red Bull

by Peter Allen

Photo: ITR

Son of rally legend joins Sainz Jr. and co. in world champions’ junior programme…

Tom Blomqvist is the latest recruit to Red Bull’s junior programme, reports Autosport. The 19-year-old Briton is set to race in the FIA F3 European Championship this year.

“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 son of Swedish rally legend Stig, Blomqvist won the Formula Renault UK title in 2010, becoming the youngest driver to ever do so at the age of 16. After coming fifth in an injury-curtailed German F3 campaign in 2011, he raced for ma-con in the European series last year. With the team having done no pre-season testing, things were difficult at first but Blomqvist was a regular top-five finisher in the final few races and finished the year seventh in the standings. He also did a partial German F3 campaign with Eurointernational, scoring more points than anyone else on the weekends he contested.

Managed by Mark Blundell, he joined McLaren’s young driver programme at the start of 2012 but will now join up with the rival scheme.

He was set to race for Eurointernational in the FIA’s revamped European Championship this year, and says the plan remains to race for Antonio Ferrari’s team, who have previous experience with Red Bull juniors having run Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat in Formula BMW.

“The title was my aim, and this doesn?t change that at all,” said Blomqvist. “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.”

Red Bull are yet to officially confirm the make-up of their Junior Team programme for 2013.