Luke retains top ten slot despite tough Austrian weekend

Luke Browning remains well placed inside the top ten in the FIA Formula 3 Championship standings despite a challenging weekend on track at the Red Bull Ring.

The Autosport BRDC Young Driver of Year was looking to maintain the momentum built in recent events, which included a maiden podium finish in the previous weekend of action at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.

Qualifying at the Austrian circuit would prove to be a challenging affair, as drivers battled to get the best track position at the shortest venue on the calendar.

With traffic proving to be an issue, Luke had to settle for 14th place on the grid – just missing out on the reverse grid pole – with a lap only half a second away from the quickest time.

A strong run in the opening race saw Luke battle his way forwards into the top ten and a solid points finish looked on the cards before a tyre problem saw him lose ground after a mid-race safety car period, dropping him back to eleventh place at the finish.

The pace displayed left the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver optimistic going into race two but any hope of a strong finish were ended on the opening lap when contact to the rear of his car resulted in a puncture that left Luke to nurse his car back to the pits.

Dropping right to the back of the field as a result, Luke would fight his way back to 23rd place by the chequered flag.

“We’ve been able to learn a lot of lessons this weekend in Austria, even if we didn’t get the desired results,” he said. “My home race at Silverstone is coming up next and this is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most, so I’m hoping for a strong showing in front of the British fans.”

Away from the Red Bull Ring, Luke would like to extend his condolences to the family and friends of Dilano van ‘t Hoff, who tragically lost his life in a Formula Regional European Championship race at Spa over the course of the weekend.