News 07 May 2024

Reflecting on a victorious start to the F3 season

With two wins from the opening two rounds of the FIA Formula 3 Championship, it’s been a great start for Hitech GP, with Luke Browning our joint leader at the top of the drivers’ standings.

Having scored 25 points from the Bahrain Feature race in March and another 12 points with fourth in Melbourne’s Feature event, Luke has 37 points to head the championship – tied in first overall. The 22-year-old has been delighted with the start to his second year in the category, particularly with his pace in qualifying (second and fifth) so far.

That strong pace continued as we travelled to the three-day, in-season test at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in mid-April with Luke impressing on the final day, setting the quickest time in the first part of the morning on a wet track.

“I’m pretty happy with the first two rounds,” said the British racer. “Being consistent in the Feature races and qualifying has helped enormously and now we need to start scoring in the Sprint races too. Overall I’ve been delighted with the progress we’ve made as a team since last year and that’s down to the hard work the whole Hitech GP team have put into this early part of the season.”

As a former champion in both British Formula 4 and GB3, entering his second year of FIA Formula 3, Luke knows the key to success is delivering performances consistently throughout the year and is excited about the challenge ahead, starting when the series resumes in mid-May.

During the recent Barcelona test, Martinius Stenshorne was equally pleased with progress and completed 201 laps across the three days of running. The Norwegian was happy with the track time and reflected on his impressive start to 2024. From second on the grid, the 18-year-old triumphed in the Sprint race in Melbourne. He sits 13th in the points and will be hoping to build on that victory next time out.

“I learned a lot during the test and we were able to adapt the car towards my driving style a bit more, so we’ve definitely taken a step forward,” said the rookie. “It’s difficult to know what fuel levels or tyre life the opposition was running in testing, so I was just trying to compare myself to Luke and I think I’m closer now than I have been before, so that’s a positive for me.”

Both Bahrain and Melbourne are tough tracks for a rookie, but as the series heads to Europe both Martinius and Cian Shields will be more familiar with the circuits coming-up on the schedule and to supplement their experience, they’ve been spending time in the Hitech GP simulator to prepare for the tracks ahead.

After graduating from the GB3 Championship last year, testing in Spain was particularly crucial for Cian to gain more track time at the wheel of the FIA Formula 3 car – and as the three days proved – he was more comfortable behind the wheel, gaining pace and confidence as the 19-year-old narrowed the gap to his team-mates.

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