Swiss racing driver Fabio Scherer will start his FIA European Formula 3 Championship campaign this weekend when he races at the famous Pau street circuit in France for the first time.

The 18-year-old is set to embark on the most important season of his motorsport career after impressing in the ADAC F4 Championship during 2017 and earning his place on the F3 grid with Team Motopark.

A series of successful pre-season tests have given Fabio confidence ahead of his debut F3 race weekend, but he’s aware of the tough challenge he’ll face when he takes to the streets of Pau – a french town that lies close to the border with Spain – for the first time in his career.

The 2.76km track has been described as “more of a challenge than Monte Carlo” and, with the track being very narrow, overtaking opportunities are limited.

“I’m definitely happy to get my season started and I’m quite optimistic that I can have a good weekend,” Fabio said. “It will be a hard weekend and I think qualifying will decide more or less everything. If you have a bad session, you will be a long way down the grid and that will make things hard.

“As well as it being hard to pass in Pau, you also have other challenges. The walls are very close to the track and there are some big kerbs. Pau is a track where it’s easy to destroy something and your weekend is over.”

With that in mind, Fabio is very clear about the approach he will need to take this weekend if he’s going to achieve his target of scoring points and potentially challenging for the podium places in Pau.

“The most important thing is to be calm all weekend and do as much as I can. It will be crucial to try and get some free laps during qualifying and set some fast times,” he explained.

“When the races start, there could be an element of luck that comes later in and helps the result. Every race in the past at Pau there has been crashes and that can allow you to get some extra positions.”

Having never driven on a street circuit before, the start to Fabio’s FIA European Formula 3 Championship couldn’t be tougher. But he’s drawing comfort from the fact he’s completed a successful simulator programme on the Pau circuit and that he’ll be strongly supported by a Team Motopark squad that has a massive amount of experience at the track and took a race victory last season.

“The start probably couldn’t be harder but I’m not worried about that. I take the championship how it is and I think I can do a good job on every track I race,” he said. “Historically, I’ve always been stronger on the difficult tracks where you need to have balls and are happy to tackle a new kind of challenge. I hope that’s the same in Pau.”

Fabio’s maiden F3 race weekend in Pau will start with a qualifying on Friday that will determine the grid for the first race on Saturday. His fastest lap time during a second qualifying session on Saturday will decide his grid position for race two on Sunday, while his second fastest qualifying time will determine his starting position for race three.

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