Weather conditions did not stop James Wharton in his FIA Formula 3 debut

James Wharton made a remarkable one-off appearance in the FIA F3 driving for Hitech GP at Silverstone. In his debut Sprint Race, the Australian driver started from P27 on the grid and finished at P13 on track. A post-race penalty dropped him to P18, but it didn't overshadow his impressive comeback. In the Feature Race, again starting at the back, Wharton even managed to run in the points for many laps before his wet tyres gave out on a drying track.


Silverstone is famous for its changeable weather. The meteorological conditions were variable throughout the entire British GP weekend, forcing James Wharton to face even more challenges than a typical Formula 3 debut already brings.

On Friday, the practice session went quite well for Wharton, who recorded the fourth-best time under heavy rain. This session was crucial for the #15 of Hitech, as it allowed him to gain confidence with his new single-seater, having never tested a Formula 3 car before.

In the afternoon, qualifying started on a dry track, but clouds gathered, and rain started pouring halfway through the session. In the final minutes, the rain ceased, and the track dried up quickly, allowing drivers to improve their times. However, James could not put in a second run lap, ending the session in P27, which became his starting position for both races.

James Wharton Formula 3

In the Sprint Race, Wharton was involved in a first-lap collision and was forced to pit for repairs. A well-timed Safety Car turned his luck around, bunching up the pack. James then stormed through the field with some impressive overtakes, overall gaining 14 places to finish P13. However, the stewards handed him a 10-second post-race penalty for the opening lap incident, dropping him to P18.

The Feature Race was characterised by changeable weather conditions that forced teams and drivers to gamble on their tyre choice. The race began in the rain on a damp track, with some drivers pitting for slicks in hopes that the circuit would dry up. James stuck with his decision and started from P27 on wets. Initially, this proved to be the right choice for the Hitech team, with James moving up the field to an impressive P8. However, as the track evolved, the drivers who opted for slick tyres caught up, and all the drivers on wets, including James, fell behind. Wharton consequently crossed the finish line in an unfortunate P20.

«I think I can be quite proud of myself with how I drove this weekend. I had really, really good pace in the races. The changeable conditions did not make things easy, especially since I had never driven this car before, but I think we recovered quite nicely in both races. I want to thank Hitech GP and All Road Management for this opportunity. Hopefully, we’ll be back soon».

This one-off appearance allowed Wharton to prove himself in a prestigious and competitive championship like Formula 3. Now, the focus shifts back to FRECA, which will take place at Mugello from 12th to 14th July.