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F3 Hitech Pulse-Eight

F3: Hitech Pulse-Eight have ‘a good mix’ of drivers for what could be an ‘interesting’ title fight

Hitech-Pulse Eight have a strong line-up for 2023 with returnee Luke Browning and rookies, Martinius Stenshorne and Cian Shields

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Oliver Oakes spoke to FormulaNerds about Hitech Pulse-Eight’s 2024 F3 driver line-up, saying it’s “helpful to have a good mix” of rookies and experienced drivers.

F3
Luke Browning celebrates his win on the podium during the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix FIA F3 World Cup. (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images,)

Formula 3 returned this week for pre-season testing in Bahrain. The grid for 2024 has a mixture of rookies and experienced F3 drivers. MP Motorsport has a line-up of all rookies, but for Hitech Pulse-Eight, there are two rookies and an experienced F3 driver.

Luke Browning raced in F3 last year and finished the season in 15th. However, the British driver won the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix in 2023. Browning partners Martinius Stenshorne, the highest-placed rookie in the 2023 Formula Regional Championship, and Cian Shields, the runner-up in the 2023 EuroFormula Open Championship.

With a mixture of rookies and a driver with F3 experience, FormulaNerds spoke to Team Principal Oliver Oakes about the line-up for Hitech in 2024.

Useful to have ‘a good mix’

Speaking to FormulaNerds, Oakes commented on the past experience of Browning and Stenshorne, but also how the Formula 3 title this year will be interesting to watch. Oakes said:

“Luke obviously having done a year it’s kind of natural that he has more experience than those two. I think in some ways it’s quite interesting because Martinius has been racing in January in the Middle East, so he’s actually been quite busy I would say, starting straight after Christmas out there.

“But I think in fairness all three of them probably want to beat each other as much as they can so actually the experience card gets dropped quite quickly once they start the first weekend. But I think it’s quite helpful to have a good mix.

“I think last year actually we had the same conversation with Giacomo and he had three rookies in F3. We were obviously having that discussion back then as well so it’ll be interesting to see this year if it’s a rookie or someone who has done a year in F3 who takes the title.”

Oakes continued commenting on Browning’s win in Macau but also on Shields’ fast progression up the single-seater ladder. He said:

“Obviously with Luke, he had last year, I’d say, an interesting season where he showed a lot of promise in F3. Probably didn’t quite put it together when it mattered, he wouldn’t mind me saying, and then he almost made up for that in a good way in Macau. So he’s sort of now got to do it consistently weekend after weekend.

“I think with Cian, it’s slightly different. He’s only going into his third ever season of car racing. The ladder, they seem to jump up quite quick now, so I think for our side with him, it’s a case of build up to it as the year goes on.”

In the Virtual Media Roundtable with media, Oakes elaborated on the expectation of the rookies. The Team Principal said that drivers need to get in and deliver quickly, but for rookies it’s not always that easy. Oakes said:

“I think that’s something interesting the rookies will find out stepping into this level. They don’t get millions of laps like you do in the lower [series] so we get to see who’s quite talented to get up to speed quickly. I think that’s exciting even for the engineers, they have to be on the bull from the get go.”

Formula 3 begins its 2024 season in Bahrain at the end of the month. With a mixed up field of returning F3 drivers and rookies, the title fight is looking to be interesting, as Oakes said.

Headline Image: GettyImages

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