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Fabio Scherer continued to gain valuable FIA Formula 3 Championship experience at the Spielberg circuit in Austria this weekend, although misfortune left the Swiss driver out of the points.

Performing in front of a huge crowd at the home of the Austrian Grand Prix, the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz driver came away with a best finish of P23 from the two races.

Fabio was P26 in free practice when the third event of the season got underway on Friday. He then drove to P23 in Qualifying – the session that established the grid positions for Race 1.

“Free practice was okay because the car was working fine,” Fabio explained. “I managed to complete a good number of laps and we were not too far off the pace.

“However, qualifying was more difficult because I couldn’t get into a rhythm. The session was halted due to an accident and resumed with just a few minutes left. But we had a small issue with the car which delayed my exit from the pits and, by the time I got back out on track, I was caught in traffic and couldn’t get a clear lap.”

The Stobag-supported driver remained confident of making forward progress during Saturday’s opening 24-lap encounter around the 4.32km circuit.

Unfortunately, Fabio’s race ended after just two laps. As the 20-year-old battled for position, he accidently made contact with another car. With his front wing damaged, he had to make an unscheduled pit stop.

“The start was good, but after a few laps I had contact in Turn 3. In the pits, my mechanics discovered they couldn’t fit a replacement front wing because the impact had broken a retaining pin. My race was over,” Fabio explained.

With the Race 1 results deciding the grid for Sunday’s Race 2, Fabio lined up P29. He moved up several places during the race, but handling issues ultimately restricted him to P23 at the chequered flag.

“This was a difficult weekend by my standards. I have gained some more experience and track time, which is important. But I’m not where I want to be in terms of pace. Before the next event, I will spend a day in the simulator at the factory to try to push forward,” he said.

Fabio’s FIA F3 season will continue at Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix, on 12-14 July.

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