Rising star Luke Browning remains on top in the FIA Formula 3 Championship despite a challenging weekend for the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver in Australia.

The BRDC Superstar racer made the long trip to Melbourne for the second meeting of the season looking to build on his first series win in round one at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain, which had put the talented Briton on top of the standings.

Luke’s weekend kicked off with a solid top-five slot in free practice and qualifying would provide a similar result – although a late red flag caused by an off for Sami Meguetounif hampered his chances of making a bid for pole position.

That still left Luke well placed on the grid for the sprint race, but his hopes of pushing for a podium place would be ended early on when an issue with the steering wheel on his car forced him to return to the pits.

Although able to return to action, Luke dropped off the lead lap and would be classified back in 28th place.

Luke was able to make up a spot at the start of the feature race before the deployment of the safety car to recover several stricken cars from the circuit after early incidents.

In a race where tyre management would prove to be key, Luke made a fine move on Gabriele Mini to climb into the podium spots and looked set for third spot until Mini was able to reclaim the place on the penultimate lap.

Fourth still means Luke remains on top of the standings, level on points with Leonardo Fornaroli ahead of the first European round of the year at Imola in May.