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Swiss racing driver Fabio Scherer ended his first FIA F3 European Championship campaign with a solid P6 finish and a Rookie class podium at Hockenheim in Germany this weekend.

The 19-year-old’s impressive charge came in the weekend’s second race. He moved from P12 on the grid to P8 at the end of the opening lap and, following a brief safety car period, reacted well at the restart to vault up to P7.

Further around the same lap, the Stobag-supported driver completed a neat out-braking manoeuvre at the hairpin to seize P6 – a position he held all the way to the chequered flag.

“It was a cool race. I can have no complaints,” Fabio said. “It was also really nice to see so many Swiss spectators and friends here to cheer me on. I really appreciated the support!”

His stirring drive also earned him P3 in the Rookie class – the fifth time that Fabio has achieved a Rookie podium finish in 2018.

The Motopark driver’s weekend had started positively when he set the ninth-quickest time in free practice around the 4.574km circuit. Qualifying, however, was less satisfying for Fabio.

“In qualifying for race one, the set-up of the car wasn’t exactly right and I found myself P15 on the grid,” he explained.

“We made a step in the right direction for second qualifying but we were still missing a little bit. The lap times were incredibly close; if I could have found just 0.1sec on my best lap, I would have qualified P5.”

Fabio made a strong start in race one to run in P13, but on lap six, when he was fighting for position, contact with another driver damaged the front-right suspension of his Dallara-Volkswagen and forced him to retire.

“It was a real shame because the car had monster pace and I’m pretty sure I could have finished in the top five,” he said.

Fabio started Sunday morning’s final race from P14 and finished P11, just outside the points-paying positions, after an eventful first lap during which he was forced wide at T4, the fast left-hand kink leading on to the back straight.

“I had to lift off the throttle and lost five places,” he recalled. “That made the situation so difficult and after that it was quite a strange race. The warm track conditions meant the lap times were quite slow and it was difficult to get speed out of the car.

“Overall, the weekend followed a similar pattern to my previous event in Austria. I felt like I improved, but some small detail was missing that meant I didn’t get the results I expected.”

With the FIA F3 European Championship season now over, Fabio finished P14 in the standings and P7 in the separate classification for Rookie drivers. In his first year of Formula 3 racing, he’s achieved a pole position, led races and finished on the podium.

“Looking back on the season, I wanted to achieve more in terms of results. I will reflect on what I have learned, think about the areas in which I can continue to improve and take those lessons with me into next season,” he said.

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