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Swiss racing driver Fabio Scherer had a challenging experience in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship event at the Nürburgring this weekend, with the rookie’s determination in all three races going unrewarded.

The 19-year-old travelled to the famous German venue determined to use his previous racing experience of the sinuous and technical 3.62km ‘short circuit’ to his advantage. However, he had to settle for P17 on the grid for the opening race.

“It was challenging from the start of the first free practice session on Friday morning because we struggled with the set-up of the car,” Fabio explained. “We made some changes for qualifying, but the usual solutions seemed to take the set-up in the wrong direction. We turned fully away from the pace.

“It was quite a strange situation and it was also difficult to adjust to the different driving style that’s needed at the Nürburgring.”

Fabio’s hopes of making progress in race one were scuppered just after the start, when a collision ahead left him with no way of avoiding a slowing car in front of him. The unfortunate contact broke the front-left suspension of his Volkswagen-powered Dallara and put him out of the race.

For races two and three, Stobag-supported Fabio qualified P18 and P16 respectively. When race two got underway on Sunday morning, however, the Motopark driver felt more comfortable with his car’s handling.

“Race two was the first time during the weekend when my pace was good,” he said. “Suddenly it felt like I was driving a Formula 3 car again! At the first corner I had to brake to avoid a collision and I lost one or two places. After that I set some strong lap times and made a good restart after the safety car period in the middle of the race.”

When the race resumed after the safety car, Fabio went on the attack, making a series of aggressive late-braking passes to cross the finish line in P11 – a seven-place improvement on his grid slot.

Fabio started P16 for race three and made two positive overtaking manoeuvres to move up to P14 at the chequered flag.

“Race three was a big challenge because the ambient and track temperatures had increased and it was very difficult to try to overtake in those conditions,” he explained.

Fabio isn’t dwelling on the difficult weekend, instead switching his focus to the next event at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on 21-23 September.

“That is a racing circuit that was made for real racing and I think things should be better for me there. The winter testing at the track was positive, and the last time I raced there, I came away with the fastest race lap.

“There are six FIA Formula 3 European Championship races left this year and I’m determined to end the season at this level of racing on a high note,” he said.

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