Home Featured F3 rookie Luke Browning rues “big disparity” between points and pace

F3 rookie Luke Browning rues “big disparity” between points and pace

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Luke Browning is ruing what he believes is “a big disparity” between his pace and the number of points he has scored so far in his rookie FIA Formula 3 season.

The Hitech GP driver sits 12th in the standings with two rounds to go, having scored 38 points over the first seven rounds. His best finish is second place in the Barcelona sprint race, and best qualifying result was fourth in Monaco.

Browning was 29th in the standings after the season opener, but rose to seventh and was still there after seven races. He has not scored in the seven races since.

“I think in terms of approach now mentally, it’s no secret for me that the pace considering to how many points we have is a big disparity,” the 21-year-old told Formula Scout.

“For me, it’s making sure that going into the last round, the goal is to score the most points over the last three.”

But Browning had his worst qualifying yet last weekend at the Hungaroring, going 18th fastest. His average qualifying position is now 11.57. He has retired from three races this year, and with 16th and 12th places at the Hungaroring his average finishing position is now 10.82.

Browning has been new to most circuits, having stepped up from the Britain-based GB3 – where he was champion – rather than a European series.

“Experience coming into different circuits is incredibly helpful. Obviously for me, only having done GB3, I rack up to the circuits sometimes a little bit blind,” Browning admitted to Formula Scout.

“Hitech has done a really good job of preparing us for each event. Equally of course if you’ve raced here before in Formula Regional European Championship, it’s for sure an advantage.”

Although “it’s probably been one of my biggest challenges this year, trying to catch up on [learning tracks]”, his GB3 experience has had its positives.

“Our pace in Silverstone was so fast. It’s really gutting, and we’ve been so quick throughout the year generally, I think we’ve done a really good start here, and really good engineers who can analyse who’s been quickest at what point in the race.”

Browning claims “on average we’re usually inside the top three average race pace”, but pointed to “having gone five races, or I think three feature races in a row, with a first lap incident” prior to the Hungaroring.

“It’s been quite unlucky this year, but equally I’ve got to take it on the chin and understand that it’s not all won or lost in the first lap. And I think this is the difference between UK racing and European that maybe I wasn’t so well prepared for.”

He added that “my confidence level doesn’t change” with the current bad results, as “my head’s high, the pace is there”.

“I think the confidence stays the same with the pace we’ve had. Ultimately the execution, we’ve been very unlucky.”