Home Featured Browning’s last-gasp Silverstone F3 pole lap “not the time to take risks”

Browning’s last-gasp Silverstone F3 pole lap “not the time to take risks”

by Peter Allen

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Luke Browning has explained that he wasn’t “completely” taking risks with the late lap that gave him a home Formula 3 pole in mixed conditions at Silverstone.

The championship leader was down in 13th place with rain falling prior to a spate of late improvements in the closing moments of qualifying, when the Hitech GP driver and Williams junior managed to grab pole by 0.045 seconds over Max Esterson.

“I know Silverstone very well at this point and I used as much of that as I could to my advantage,” he said. “Truthfully today the car was unbelievable.

“The lap was not anything particularly special, the wet came down and it was just a matter of how much do I trust that the grip is going to be there. I just thought, I was 13th after the first run after going off track and a disallowed lap, if it is going to come together it is going to be this lap.”

Asked whether he was “leaving it all out there” on that last lap, Browning said: “To be honest, it was consolidate. It was just make sure we do the lap because, yeah, my engineer Finn came on the radio and he said ‘people are improving’.

“So it was not the time to completely take the risk, it was the time to do a lap that was decent. But I have to say that the final sector, I had a lot of confidence after doing the first two, and that was really strong. The first two were, for sure, a little bit conservative. But overall, a clean lap.”

The result was Browning’s second pole in a week, one he’ll hope to convert into feature race victory as he did at the Red Bull Ring.

“I like when we have the momentum. We’re in the swing of things now. This triple header has done me a lot of good. I’m just really enjoying the back to back races. The ability to go racing every weekend I love.

“To finish off the triple header in Silverstone on pole is a pretty good feeling.”

With pole, Browning moves 13 points clear of nearest rival Gabriele Mini, who went the other way from third to 14th at the end of qualifying.

Browning hasn’t finished lower than fifth in a feature race this year and admitted consistency is “crucial”, noting his current points tally of 108 would have been enough to finish fifth in the championship last year.

“It showed how much last year people struggled to be consistent and how this year I think everyone kind of sees the goal on how to get points in this championship. It’s so tough to be there all the time and when you are there you really have to make the most out of the opportunity.

“So starting just outside the top 10 tomorrow it’ll be about trying to just sneak into the points, staying there and having no penalties for the feature race.”