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 enjoyed the best weekend of his ADAC F4 Championship career to date after scoring a memorable victory and another podium at Sachsenring this weekend.
Heading into the penultimate round of the campaign, the 18-year-old stated that he wanted to end his 2017 season strongly and he wasted no time in establishing himself as one of the pacesetters during Friday qualifying.
An impressive session ensured the Stobag, Eterna Watches and ATS Banding-supported driver would start the first and second F4 races at Sachsenring from P3 on the grid, despite qualifying not being completely trouble-free.
“Qualifying wasn’t perfect, for me,” Fabio reflected. “I had a small problem with the car but we managed to solve that for the first race and I was confident that I could go out and ‘boom’ my time would be there.”
Saturday’s opening race proved to be a strong one for Fabio as he maximised the performance of his US Racing car on the 3.64km track and confidently drove to an impressive P2 finish, pulling off a spectacular move at the final corner to take the place. The result gave Fabio his fourth podium of the season – and his maiden P2 finish in the ADAC F4 Championship.
It was a fantastic start to the weekend. But even better was to follow on Sunday morning as Race 2 blasted into action. Starting from the second row of the grid, Fabio made a stunning getaway and was immediately challenging pole-sitter Julian Hanses and Marcus Armstrong.
As the trio headed into Turn One, Fabio saw his chance and bravely placed his #13 car down the inside of both his rivals to emerge in the lead of the 22-car field as the pack exited the corner and thundered into Turn Two.
Although he still had 18 laps to run, Fabio calmly settled into his position at the head of the field and controlled the race until it ended behind the Safety Car. As well as taking his first F4 win of the season and the second of his young career, Fabio also set the fastest lap of the race by almost half a second.
“My speed was amazing – I was really flying!” he said. “I was able to go much quicker than everyone else and when you’re half a second faster that’s something crazy. Once I got into the lead, I just drove really easily and didn’t do anything special. It was a great feeling to be so comfortable. That’s something I’ve been searching hard for this year. I really enjoyed it.”
Starting from P9 on the grid for Sunday’s third and final race, the odds were stacked against Fabio when it came to finishing on the podium for the third F4 race of the weekend. But he definitely gave it his best shot. Within two laps he was up to P7, before another fantastic move at Turn One enabled him to claim another two places and leap into P5.
But with the laps counting down and inconvenient Safety Car periods to contend with, Fabio had to be content with P5 at the chequered flag. However, it was a result that sealed the former Swiss karting champion’s strongest F4 weekend to date and gave him enough points to leap from P6 to P4 in the championship standings with one final race meeting to run at Hockenheim next weekend (22-24 September).
He said: “If we hadn’t had the Safety Cars, P3 would have been possible in the third race because I was able to catch cars and pull away from them once I got past. To go from P9 to P3 would have been amazing but P5 was still good in the end and I have to be realistic. To get 53 points in one weekend is a dream and really showed my self belief.
“I knew quite early that I could put the times in and if I can do the same at Hockenheim next weekend, more points and wins could be possible. I will try and stay calm and do my best. But, for sure, finishing P3 in the championship is my target.”