Home Featured Silverstone experience “the big thing” for Esterson’s F3 front row

Silverstone experience “the big thing” for Esterson’s F3 front row

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Max Esterson was second fastest in a “chaotic” Formula 3 qualifying at Silverstone, where past experience at the track played a key role for him.

The Jenzer Motorsport driver set a laptime less than half-a-tenth of a second off pole position in what was his best F3 qualifying result so far. His teammates also achieved their career best results with Charlie Wurz being sixth fastest while Matias Zagazeta rounded out the top 10.

Esterson was seventh fastest on his first timed lap and improved to fifth in his second lap on the same set of tyres. Then the rain hit the track. However, it soon cleared and drivers were able to lower their laptimes in the final minutes of the session.

It was chaotic,” he told media including Formula Scout after qualifying. “The first run I knew the car was super strong. I was P5. It wasn’t anything special. I crossed the line and the time was good. The car felt good, so I knew we had some momentum.

“I was actually happy when it started raining. I was happy I was fifth at the time compared to the last few rounds, so I was hoping it would come down, but obviously it worked out well again for us. The lap at the end was great. Had a car in front of me a bit too close that hurt a bit, but it helped on the straight. So who knows if it would have been better if I was alone.”

Even though “the win is always the target”, this weekend Esterson aims to score his first points since the opening race of the season at Bahrain, where he was sixth.

“I’m not gonna do anything stupid to win a race,” he said. “We need points. If the opportunity is there, a win would be great. And hopefully we move forward in the sprint as well.”

Esterson reckoned that “knowing the circuit was the big thing” for achieving such a good result. He made his F3 debut at Silverstone last year with Carlin, but believed it was more the overall experience he has at a track where he has raced since his Formula Ford 1600 days – he won the prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy in 2021 – that paid off.

“It was my first ever F3 race, so I was taking things in very quickly. Then didn’t have much time to really understand what was happening. But I think overall, my experience at Silverstone has helped more than just last year. Two years of GB3 and lots of Formula Ford races even though it’s on the small circuit. Overall, all the experience I think helped.”

The American will start the sprint race from 14th position after being handed a three-place grid for impeding Prema’s Dino Beganovic during qualifying.