Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Browning explains "scary" exhaust problem on way to F3 Bahrain win

Luke Browning has explained the "scary" moment that caused a concerning noise from his engine en route to his maiden Formula 3 championship win in Bahrain.

Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Browning led from start to finish in the F3 feature race in Bahrain after polesitter Dino Beganovic bogged down and dropped to the rear of the pack.

While the Hitech driver appeared in complete control of the race, however, there were concerns that he may be forced to retire after second-placed Christian Mansell reported seeing smoke coming from Browning’s car.

The onboard cameras and the audio of the engine sparked suggestions that one of the six engine cylinders could have failed.

Speaking to Autosport, Browning explained that despite initially fearing the worst, he and his team were quickly able to diagnose the issue.

“I thought – I knew – the exhaust had just blown because it went really loud,” said the Briton, who won the non-championship Macau Grand Prix in F3 machinery last year.

“So basically, the exhaust on the F3 car, they have this wrap around them and I think one of the springs came loose on the wrap.

“Therefore, when the wrap comes loose, it gets really hot on one part and it blows a hole in it.

“I was never in any danger of it failing, but it was a bit scary at one point when I heard a bang. I wasn’t sure if it was the engine gone or just the exhaust.

“Luckily, the power was still good and we were able to keep on going.”

Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight

Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

While Browning controlled the race from the front, he was often less than one second clear of the chasing pack, allowing others to enjoy a DRS advantage. At one point, this train extended to 11 cars.

He added: “It was just management the whole race. I knew we had the gap. I think it was a bit pointless to push out of the DRS because if there was a safety car, I didn’t want to be in a position where I didn’t have such great tyres on a restart.

“I just saved the whole race and pushed the last two laps which I think we eked out just enough to stay out of DRS.

“It’s only the first round. It’s nice to go to Melbourne leading the championship and we’re riding this wave of momentum from Macau.”

Browning has established an early four-point championship lead over Tim Tramnitz following the opening round in Bahrain.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article F3 Bahrain: Williams junior Browning takes maiden win in feature race
Next article F3 Australia: Stenshorne wins sprint thriller

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe