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Second-placed Esterson scores career best F3 qualifying result: “We’ve made a huge step”

Written by Sean McKean


Credit - Joe Portlock / Getty Images

On Friday afternoon, championship leader and Hitech driver Luke Browning took his second consecutive pole on home soil in Silverstone, but there was another result to write home about.


Max Esterson – a rookie driver for Jenzer Motorsport – qualified in second, his best qualifying result of the season by far. Speaking to Divebomb and other selected media, the American told us about how qualifying unfolded from his point of view.


“Yeah, it was chaotic. The first run I knew the car was super strong in P5 but it wasn’t anything special. I crossed the line and the time was good, the car felt good so I knew I had momentum. I was quite happy when it started raining.”


The qualifying session was riddled with on-and-off spurts of rain – a common characteristic of the Silverstone circuit. As a result, many teams went out early to get ahead of the weather. This group included Esterson, who slotted into P5.


However, despite the rain intensifying later on, an improvement was on the cards at the very end.


“I was hoping it [the rain] would come down [heavier], but it obviously worked out again for us,” he said.


At the very end of the session, even with a portion of the track completely damp, Esterson managed to come home in second. To add the cherry on top, Jenzer had all three cars in the top ten: Esterson in second, Charlie Wurz in sixth, and Matías Zagazeta in tenth. 


“The team was great, all three of us in the top ten, so we’ve made a huge step.”


This isn’t the first time Esterson has raced on the Silverstone circuit by any means. In 2022 and 2023, he raced in the GB3 Championship – Great Britain’s premier F3-level series. With so much experience on this track as well as the tricky conditions it provides, the GB3 race winner’s performance shouldn’t be a surprise.


But, did he think a pole was on the cards, especially going up against the Browning and Hitech pair? 


“45 thousandths [from pole], you can lose a bit here, lose a bit there, but it’s the same for all three of us here. None of us are robots. You could always say you would be on pole if you didn’t make a mistake here, but it’s the same for everyone,” Esterson said.


Moving to tomorrow and Sunday, the American will be looking to score his second points of the season, having scored his first in race one in the Bahrain sprint. However, with the pace he’s shown thus far, is taking victory a realistic thought?


“The win is always the target. Obviously I’m not going to do anything stupid to win a race, we need points. If the opportunity is there, a win would be great, and hopefully we move forward in the sprint as well.”


He will begin Saturday’s sprint race from 11th and Sunday’s feature race from second. 

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