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F3 Macau GP

Studying Macau GP start history helped Browning deliver winning tactic

Luke Browning has revealed how studying video replays of every previous Macau Grand Prix start helped him deliver the key tactic that kept him in front to win this year. 

The Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year produced a dominant performance to win the blue-riband Macau F3 race on Sunday, but it required two perfect getaways from the front of the pack. 

At both the original start, and the late safety car restart following the red flag interruption for Paul Aron's fiery crash, Browning committed to the inside line on the long run to Lisboa to protect himself from attack from behind as rivals tried to capitalise on his slipstream. 

He said his approach was deliberate – and had been settled on after he had gone through replays of old Macau starts to work out tactics that did and did not work. 

“I watched every start of Macau up until this point and this seemed to be the [one with the] highest success rate,” he told Motorsport.com about the approach that helped keep rivals at bay.  

“[At the restart], I was trying to get Dennis [Hauger] and Gabriele [Mini] an equal amount a tow down the straight, so that they caught me in the slowest amount of time.  

“I did it for both races and I just managed to hang on. But the last one was super tight.” 

Race winner Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight

Photo by: Macau GP

Race winner Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight

The start tactics were evidence of the intelligent approach that Browning put on to secure the win, as he even made the call to go super late with the safety car restart. 

Asked about leaving it to the last second, he said: “It's a very big straight. I didn't want to make it any longer. So I went as late as possible, more or less.  

“From a slower speed the slipstream is less. So everything I was doing was pretty calculated.  

“I tried to catch them out coming out the last corner, but I think equally the straight is just that long that you are going to have people alongside you in T3. But that's the magic of Macau, you have got to brake late.” 

But not everything was so pre-planned, as Browning said his ability to break free in the lead on cold tyres each time was more about him willing to take things to the edge. 

“I think I just took more risk, to be honest,” he said. “But the risk is definitely worth taking because if you get over that gap, obviously you break the DRS. 

“So breaking that in the first lap is absolutely crucial to not have anyone up your back. And that's what I was really aiming for. Luckily, we managed to do it and I am a happy man.” 

After a challenging year in FIA F3, Browning said that his Macau triumph was as big to him as winning the prestigious Autosport trophy last year. 

“Alongside the Autosport award, this is the biggest achievement of my career to date,” he said.  

“It's thoroughly humbling to put my name on the list of winners. It feels surreal.”  

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