Fabio Scherer’s determination to end his FIA Formula 3 Championship campaign on a high was scuppered by cruel luck in both races at Sochi Autodrom…/Read
Fabio Scherer restarted his ADAC F4 Championship campaign with a Race 1 podium at the Nürburgring this weekend, but the Swiss driver was left frustrated that he wasn’t able to build on that positivity in the two races that followed.
The 18-year-old was excited to get back behind the wheel of his US Racing car after the month-long summer break and, although qualifying only returned a P8 starting position for Saturday’s first race, Fabio showed his natural speed when the race got underway.
An impressive display of overtaking allowed Fabio to gain four places before the race was briefly stopped to retrieve a stricken car. With the race time reduced to 20 minutes, Fabio knew he had to make a fast start when the action resumed – and he didn’t disappoint.
He quickly passed Andreas Estner to move into P3 and was then hassling Kim-Luis Schramm’s for P2 as the race drew to its conclusion. Unfortunately, Fabio just ran out of laps to claim runner-up spot but he was happy to take P3 and set the fastest lap of the race with a pace-setting 1m 28.278S tour of the 3.62km Nürburgring.
The Stobag, Eterna and ATS Banding-supported driver said: “Qualifying wasn’t the best for me but my first race was very strong. I maybe could have challenged for P2 but I got some advice from my team to save the tyres and not risk a crash. I was very happy with P3 – it was a pleasing start to the weekend.”
With a third podium of the season under his belt, Fabio was keen to build on his impressive start at the Nürburgring in Sunday’s second and third races.
However, when Cedric Piro crashed his car heavily after only seven laps of Race 2 and damaged the crash barrier, ADAC officials had no alternative other than to stop the race and declare the result early. With Fabio trying to fight his way up from P11 when the race was halted, the red flag was the last thing the F4 race winner wanted to see.
And when the lights went out for the final race of the weekend, Fabio, who was starting from a handy P8 grid slot, suffered a sudden engine stall and wasn’t able to pull away from the line. As the rest of the ADAC F4 field streamed past, Fabio eventually managed to restart and got back in the race – albeit in P24 out of 25 cars.
Frustrated not to have capitalised on his promising grid position, Fabio set about recovering as many places as he could and was easily one of the fastest drivers outside of the top places. By the second lap, he had already made up five places and eventually completed the 21-lap race in P15.
Although his Race 3 recovery was impressive, Fabio was disappointed that he couldn’t build on his P8 starting position and that Race 2 was stopped before he’d really had the chance to make his mark.
“It wasn’t the way I wanted to end the weekend,” he explained. “After a podium in the first race, I was thinking I could maybe do it again in the other races. It was unfortunate that the first race was stopped early because we had a lot of laps left and then in Race 3 I completely destroyed my start. The first 10 metres were good but then I guess the RPM was a bit low and the engine stopped.
“It was lucky that nobody crashed into me and I was pleased that I had some strong race pace and could make up quite a few places and finish in P15. Our pace was good all weekend, it’s just a shame we were a bit unlucky in the races.”
Despite a disappointing points return from the Nürburgring, Fabio has maintained his P6 in the ADAC F4 points standings, with two events and six races still to run before the end of the 2017 season. Fabio will return to action at the Sachsenring on 15-17 September.