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F3 star Browning eyeing Williams F1 opportunity in 2024

Formula 3 sophomore Luke Browning is pushing to get a Formula 1 opportunity this year with Williams.

Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight

Photo by: Williams

More often than not, drivers progress to F1 via the established path of F3 and Formula 2, but occasionally there are exceptions.

The most notable example in recent years is three-time world champion Max Verstappen, who graduated to the top tier directly from European F3 in 2015 with Toro Rosso.

FEATURE: A rising star's first day in an F1 car

Entering his second season in F3, Williams Academy prospect Browning has his eyes set on a potential FP1 drive by the end of the year and believes the chance of a full-time seat in 2025 should not be ruled out.

“It’s a possibility and something that I want to push for is to get into a Formula 1 car and I’m sure if I win the championship or I’m right there, it will be something that the guys decide. But ultimately, it’s not my choice,” Browning told Autosport in an exclusive interview.

“It’ll be down to James [Vowles] and the management of Williams to, if they see I’m fit and do a really good job, to stick me in an F1 at the end of the year.

“It’d be a dream for me. I would love to drive the Williams car and, all being well, I hope it will be the case.”

However, Browning’s path into an F1 seat is far from clear, with fellow Williams Academy drivers Zak O’Sullivan and Franco Colapinto both competing in F2 this term with ART and MP Motorsport respectively.

It is also worth noting that both O’Sullivan and Colapinto have already completed laps in Williams F1 machinery.

But Browning, too, has already garnered some F1 experience, sampling the Aston Martin AMR21 at Silverstone last year after winning the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award.

Luke Browning, Aston Martim AMR21, Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver Test at Silverstone

Luke Browning, Aston Martim AMR21, Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver Test at Silverstone

Photo by: James Sutton / Motorsport Images

Further complicating matters is the early start to the driver transfer market, sparked largely by Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari.

When looking to sign current incumbent Logan Sargeant at the end of 2022, Williams used FP1 sessions to add points to the American’s super licence, something the team could elect to do again this term should they look to field another rookie in 2025.

Undeterred by these potential roadblocks, Browning added: “F1 drivers in the past have gone from F3 to Formula 1. Verstappen did it, Kimi [Raikkonen] did it [from Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup]. If I’m special enough, it’s possible. But for something like that, you’ve got to have a really special season.

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“We’ve already won Macau in my first season driving the car. If I’m to win the championship and win Macau again, maybe it’s something that Williams would consider. But you know, I’ve got to prove that and let’s see.

“Maybe if I do end up having the FP1 in Abu Dhabi and it goes particularly well, they could see it as a potential option. At the moment, there has been no talk of it whatsoever, but in this sport, things move quickly.”

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