Home Formula 3FIA F3 Championship Browning fastest on home soil in FIA F3 practice at Silverstone

Browning fastest on home soil in FIA F3 practice at Silverstone

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Hitech GP’s Luke Browning set the pace in FIA Formula 3 free practice at Silverstone.

His team-mate Sebastian Montoya was first to set laps, and established an early 1m48.957s benchmark six minutes into the 45-minute session.

Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli was first to beat it, setting a 1m48.750s, then 11 minutes in MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto went to the top with a 1m47.099s that put him 0.048 seconds ahead of Trident’s Oliver Goethe and 0.815s clear of ART Grand Prix’s Nikola Tsolov.

Montoya improved to sit in fourth, and a third of the way into practice only nine drivers had set flying laps.

That increased to half of the field after 16 minutes, as Browning came to the fore with a 1m46.493s to move ahead of an improving Colapinto and Campos Racing’s Christian Mansell.

The only driver who could get close to Browning’s new benchmark was Campos’s Pepe Marti, who rose into second place and then at the session’s halfway mark topped the times with a 1m46.125s.

Bortoleto slotted into second, 0.080s behind, and Prema’s Dino Beganovic went third fastest. Browning was later shuffled down to fifth by ART GP’s Gregoire Saucy, but then returned to first place by breaking into the 1m45s.

At the same time there was drama as ART GP’s Kaylen Frederick had locked up at turn 16 and collided with Prema’s Zak O’Sullivan, resulting in losing his front wing. The briefest of virtual safety car periods was called so the wing could be collected, and just before that Hitech’s Gabriele Mini snuck into fourth place with a 1m46.223s laptime.

There was then little change on the timesheet for a while, until Bortoleto went second fastest with just over 11 minutes remaining. Three minutes later Beganovic improved to get back into third, while Browning also lowered his pace to 1m45.794s.

On Bortoleto’s next lap he cut Browning’s advantage down to 0.182s by joining him in setting a sub-1m46s pace.

After the chequered flag there were more improvements set, with Fornaroli and Saucy going fourth and sixth fastest respectively, while Rodin Carlin’s debuting Max Esterson got himself into the top 10 and less than half a second off the pace in his first experience of an FIA F3 car.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Luke Browning Hitech GP 1m45.794s 15
2 Gabriel Bortoleto Trident 1m45.976s +0.182s 16
3 Dino Beganovic Prema 1m46.090s +0.296s 15
4 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident 1m46.108s +0.314s 19
5 Pepe Marti Campos Racing 1m46.125s +0.331s 14
6 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix 1m46.190s +0.396s 16
7 Paul Aron Prema 1m46.208s +0.414s 15
8 Gabriele Mini Hitech GP 1m46.223s +0.429s 15
9 Zak O’Sullivan Prema 1m46.240s +0.446s 15
10 Max Esterson Carlin 1m46.254s +0.460s 18
11 Christian Mansell Campos Racing 1m46.370s +0.576s 16
12 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix 1m46.454s +0.660s 18
13 McKenzy Cresswell PHM by Charouz 1m46.455s +0.661s 17
14 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 1m46.457s +0.663s 18
15 Taylor Barnard Jenzer Motorsport 1m46.473s +0.679s 16
16 Oliver Goethe Trident 1m46.571s +0.777s 17
17 Caio Collet Van Amersfoort Racing 1m46.590s +0.796s 15
18 Hugh Barter Campos Racing 1m46.653s +0.859s 16
19 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP 1m46.688s +0.894s 20
20 Mari Boya MP Motorsport 1m46.749s +0.955s 16
21 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing 1m46.808s +1.014s 19
22 Nikita Bedrin Jenzer Motorsport 1m46.810s +1.016s 17
23 Sophia Floersch PHM by Charouz 1m46.945s +1.151s 18
24 Ollie Gray Carlin 1m47.058s +1.241s 16
25 Jonny Edgar MP Motorsport 1m47.126s +1.332s 16
26 Ido Cohen Carlin 1m47.163s +1.369s 15
27 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 1m47.223s +1.429s 17
28 Kaylen Frederick ART Grand Prix 1m47.279s +1.485s 6
29 Roberto Faria PHM by Charouz 1m47.907s +2.113s 14
30 Alex Garcia Jenzer Motorsport 1m47.937s +2.143s 15