Tom Blomqvist felt he was fortunate to finish his debut race in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in the points, calling his maiden outing in the series “an eye-opener”.
After his seat was taken by Kamui Kobayashi for the first round of the 2017/18 season in Hong Kong, BMW factory driver Blomqvist debuted for MS&AD Andretti in Saturday’s Marrakesh E-Prix.
Blomqvist started the race 12th after hitting the wall during his flying lap in qualifying, but was able to rise up to eighth at the checkered flag thanks to incidents for cars ahead before being promoted to P7 in the final classification after a penalty for Maro Engel.
“I was a bit lucky,” Blomqvist conceded to e-racing365 after the race. “We managed to go onto a strategy where I could pit under the Full Course Yellow which was good.
“It was a bit of an eye-opener to be honest. I had no idea what to expect. Obviously I’ve done some work in the sim, stuff like that, but in terms of real racing, it’s a different story.
“It’s all good on your own but then you have cars that are on different strategies and you’re not really sure, so you think you’re absolutely nowhere, and they’re going a lap shorter or vice-versa. Then they start attacking you. Then it becomes really difficult. You’re a bit unsure.
“To be honest I didn’t really fight much to try and get a bit of experience. But then I started to get attacked quite a lot at the end of the first stint. I lost of a lot of time there.
“It was a challenging race. Happy obviously with the points, but that was more luck than actual performance. It wasn’t the true performance of me and of the car at the moment. But nonetheless, we’ll take that.”
Asked if the race was like anything he’d driven in before, he said: “No, no. To drive fast is one thing, not a problem. The racing is so different.
“Even the start. It’s so weird at first. It’s pretty much the easiest start you’ll ever do. Not the first corner because your brakes are stone cold, but there’s no tension building.
“But I definitely enjoyed it. I like the event. All on one day, when you have a good day, it’s kinda like ‘ugh, I wouldn’t mind another shot at that!’
“But I messed up qualifying, hitting the wall. I think I had the potential to be up the front. I lost quite a lot of time because of that with the bent steering.
“But all those things, you learn from them and build the experience.”
Blomqvist will complete the remainder of the Formula E season in the second Andretti seat alongside Antonio Felix da Costa, with his next outing coming in Santiago, Chile on Feb. 3.