Luke Browning will become the fourth driver in the Formula 3 championship to be supported by Williams after being announced as the latest addition to the Formula 1 team’s academy.
Reigning GB3 champion Browning secured the final seat on the F3 grid with Hitech GP in the week of March’s season opener in Bahrain, and Formula Scout understood that an F1 team was helping to fund his season.
Browning won the Aston Martin-supported Autosport BRDC young driver award at the end of last year, and he linked up with another F1 operation, McLaren, to take part in the Formula E rookie test in Berlin on Monday this week.
But it is with Williams that Browning has now signed, joining fellow F3 racers Zak O’Sullivan, Franco Colapinto and Ollie Gray on its books.
“I’m really looking forward to being a part of the Williams Racing Driver Academy,” Browning said.
“A huge thank you to everyone at Williams Racing for the opportunity to shoot for the stars. To be welcomed into the family is a dream come true, the heritage of this team is phenomenal. I can’t wait to see where we can go, our journey starts here.”
Browning sits 10th in the F3 standings after the first two rounds in Bahrain and Australia, having finished fifth and eighth in the respective feature races on those weekends.
“We’re pleased to have Luke join the Williams Racing Driver Academy,” said the team’s sporting director and academy chief Sven Smeets.
“He’s a highly talented driver with several major achievements already under his belt, including the 2022 Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, the 2022 GB3 Championship and the 2020 British F4 Championship. Everyone at Williams Racing is looking forward to working closely with Luke throughout the year as he competes in FIA Formula 3 with Hitech. He’ll have the opportunity to develop his abilities while providing useful feedback through simulator work at Grove.”
All three of Hitech’s F3 drivers for 2023 are now officially part of F1 junior programmes, with Gabriele Mini and Sebastian Montoya having joined Alpine and Red Bull for this year.