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Blomqvist joins McLaren's driver development programme 22 Feb 2012

Tom Blomqvist (GBR) with the 2010 BRDC Rising Stars The Henry Surtees Award. The 2010 British Racing Drivers' Club Annual Awards, The Savoy Hotel, London, England, Monday 6 December 2010. Tom Blomqvist (SWE), Fortec Motorsport. Formula Renault UK, Rd1, Thruxton, England, 4 April 2010. Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011

McLaren have announced on Wednesday that British teenager Tom Blomqvist, son of 1984 world rally champion Stig Blomqvist, has joined the select group of young talent on their driver development programme.

“I’m thrilled to get this opportunity with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes,” said Blomqvist. “The competition gets fiercer every time you step up a category, and having this level of support will really improve my strength and confidence.”

The 18 year-old has made outstanding progress in single-seater racing since graduating from karting in 2009. In 2010 he became the youngest driver ever to win the Formula Renault UK Championship, a feat which earned him the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s Henry Surtees Award for the most outstanding performance by a young racer. Carrying that race-winning form to the Formula Three Cup for 2011, Blomqvist was shortlisted for the highly prized McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

“Tom is rightly considered to be a very bright prospect in single-seater racing, as demonstrated by his presence in the shortlist of finalists for the 2011 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, the ultimate accolade for young drivers and a programme which McLaren has had the pleasure of supporting for more than two decades,” explained McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

“Tom is also now a member of the McLaren Young Driver Programme. On-track results are the ultimate measurements of a driver's merit, and in this regard Tom is already delivering on his potential. As a winner of the Formula Renault Championship, he's following in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton, who passed this career milestone just three years before graduating to Formula One with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. We're therefore watching Tom’s progress with great interest.”

As part of the McLaren driver development programme, Blomqvist will benefit from a wealth of personalised guidance in the off-track skills demanded by his craft, as well as building on his race performances as he continues to climb the motorsport ladder.

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