“I am getting my head around it, slowly but surely,” Tom Blomqvist begins after completing his second day of Formula E testing. “There are a lot of things you have to manage and take on during a run, a lot of things to digest but so far so good.”
Blomqvist, a 23-year-old BMW Works driver, is currently competing in DTM but has been gifted the opportunity to test the MS&AD Andretti car in Valencia for the official Formula E pre-season testing. Despite not having much experience in a Formula E car, an odd lap here and there for a shakedown he completed before Valencia, the British driver said he found the car and the level of management “interesting” and a “big change” from his previous motoracing adventures.
“I did a brief shakedown, but that wasn’t really many laps at all, if any. This is basically my first proper Formula E experience. Coming from DTM and what I am previously used to it is obviously a big change and you have to get your head around the changes pretty quickly.”
As well as the new challenges being thrown his way during testing, such as managing the car’s battery, Blomqvist also found the “lack of sound” another change which took time adapting to.
“It is a bit weird, you feel a bit – it’s hard to describe.
“The good thing is you can hear the engineer on the radio, normally that is a bloody nightmare, so I was shocked how smoothly all that is. You get used to the lack of sound, however, it doesn’t make the cars very intimidating. Normally you have these big loud race cars and you can really feel everything like that, but here it is like “is the thing switched on?” Once again, you get used to that though.”
“You get used to the lack of sound, however, it doesn’t make the cars very intimidating.”
As for a future in Formula E, Blomqvist isn’t sure what the possibilities are. Being a BMW Works driver bodes well for his chances, although Alexander Sims who also tested for the team over the testing days is also in the same boat. Both impressive racing talents but are unsure on the path BMW has for them and their racing futures.
“Obviously I am here as a BMW Works driver and my main programme is still DTM for now,” Blomqvist states when asked about any possible future in Formula E. “I am just here to test. I am not sure what is in store for me, we will have to wait and see but for sure I would be interested to have a go in the championship. It is really growing and coming on strong, the competition is massive, it is really tough and the level of driver is really high. So overall it is a place you want to get into.”
As for testing the car and getting a grasp of improvements on the Andretti, it is noted that the track still remains inconstant in comparison to the usual street circuits Formula E race on. The addition of two chicanes to the start finish straight have also received disapproval from drivers due to the “unprofessional” finish of the barriers – just concreate blocks with tyres placed in front.
“The track itself is very unrepresentative of a Formula E track, so what you learn around the track is very minimal.
“Yes, the chicanes are pretty dodgy if you get it wrong, but then so is every other Formula E track. I don’t really have a problem with the chicanes, what I have a problem with is when someone crashes the circuit organisers could at least make sure they put it back in the same position – on [Tuesday afternoon] it felt like it was super tight, so that would be nice if they could get on top of that.”
Image Source: FIA Formula E