In less than two weeks, Fabio Scherer will finally start the season with the official WEC testing duties in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (26/27 April). To make…/Read
Swiss racing driver Fabio Scherer is preparing for one of the hottest and most demanding events of his season as the FIA F3 European Championship visits the Hungaroring this weekend (1-3 June).
The 18-year-old is already familiar with the circuit, situated about 20 kilometres north-east of Budapest, because a pre-season test session was held there, albeit in cool conditions.
For the upcoming race weekend, the forecast suggests the ambient temperature at the track could easily exceed 35 degrees centigrade and that will place a huge importance on careful tyre and car conservation.
“At the first event of the season in Pau I showed a clear improvement throughout the weekend,” says Fabio, who heads to the Hungaroring in 12th position in the FIA F3 European Championship standings. “Now the most important job is to work on the small details and our strategy so we can close up the last few tenths of a second to the drivers right at the front.”
“The target for the Hungaroring is to drive consistently and gain points in all three races. It won’t be an easy weekend, but I want to work hard to improve, because you can learn a lot from the most challenging circuits such as this one.”
The highly technical Hungaroring packs 14 corners, many of them long and slow, into 4.381 kilometres and features just one straight of any significant length.
Fabio, who drives a Volkswagen-powered Dallara for Team Motopark, is planning to tailor his traditionally hard-charging driving style to suit the conditions: “To be fast at the Hungaroring you need to drive calmly, even more so in the heat. Normally I am a quite aggressive driver but because of the conditions I will need instead to be very smooth.”
“It’s a circuit where we run a high-downforce aerodynamic set-up on the car. For that reason, it is even more important to not make any mistakes around the lap because if you do, you’ll lose even more time.”
The tight and sinuous nature of the circuit makes overtaking difficult and means a strong qualifying performance is vital: “It will be really important to do some clean laps early in the qualifying sessions because in the hot weather the tyres are likely to be past their best quite quickly.”
One potential overtaking spot is Turn One, the long right-hander at the end of the start/finish straight, although Fabio says: “Even trying to overtake under braking for Turn One will be a big challenge because Turn 14, which leads on to the main straight, is a corner where the car is very dependent on its aerodynamics. Normally you will lose too much time to the car in front if you try to follow it closely through that turn.”
He adds: “The track does have some faster corners, which I enjoy. Turn Four, a quick left-hander, is quite tricky because the entry to the corner is blind and you don’t really get to see the turn-in point as you are approaching it. It’s important to get it right, though, because if you run wide you will be off-line for Turn Five.”
Fabio’s weekend gets underway with free practice and the first qualifying session on Friday 1 June, with second qualifying and the opening race on Saturday and a further two races on Sunday.
All sessions can be followed by livestream on www.fiaf3europe.com The races are also shown on German TV at n-tv.