Luke Browning was left with mixed feelings after qualifying fifth in Melbourne, with the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver believing that top spot was a possibility had he put it all together.

After the first set of laps to start proceedings, the British driver was up in third, two-tenths off the eventual polesitter Leonardo Fornaroli session-topping effort.

But after Fornaroli’s Trident teammate Sami Meguetounif crashed into the barrier at the final corner, a Red Flag was called upon to clear his car.

This left Browning and the rest of the remaining drivers with just one lap left to take pole and the Hitech racer says he did not quite put it together on his final attempt, as he wound up over three-tenths off Fornaroli’s time.

“I think mixed feelings,” said Browning. “I think the goal is to be top five in qualifying every time and for that we are ticking the box but ultimately there was a lot more in it today.

“Pole position was there for us, especially in the final run. I think we made some good progression throughout the session, but just didn't quite have the time to adapt for that final run.

“I could have done with one more lap. Purple in the first sector and I think we lost two or three tenths in the middle which would have put us close to pole. Regardless it’s a good position for both races tomorrow and just being sensible is not a bad place to be.”

Browning is aiming to hold onto the lead of the Drivers Championship this weekend
Browning is aiming to hold onto the lead of the Drivers' Championship this weekend

Browning was in no mood to make excuses when asked if having one shot at pole put him on the backfoot, insisting that these things are common occurrences in Formula 3, and something all the drivers know will happen.

“I think the main thing to remember is that everyone is in the same boat and it’s something you have to get used to,” said Browning. “It’s the nature of Formula 3. Coming back to Australia you know Red Flags are highly likely, yellow flags are highly likely.

“It’s easy to make mistakes here and when you get the opportunity to make the lap you need to make sure you are on it and that is something I think we are very close to doing on the final run, the final lap but it didn’t quite come together.

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“But regardless I am happy with the positioning. Make up a couple of paces in both races and we will be in great point scoring positions.”

When asked if knowing that there is a lot more potential in his #14 car ahead of both races in Melbourne gives him confidence, Browning replied: “Yeah absolutely, that is the mindset.

“Obviously being sensible with overtaking but using the pace to the advantage is crucial. There was so much more in it, I came in and I said 'I'm gutted' but ultimately in the grand scheme of things, top five in Qualifying, that is the goal.

“We've achieved on that front and tomorrow is about being sensible, scoring points in both races and we will be in a good position going to Imola.”