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’s intention of putting his FIA Formula 3 Championship on the right track went unrewarded this weekend, with the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz driver missing out on points at Circuit Paul Ricard in France.
The Swiss driver, a member of the new-for-2019 Sauber Junior Team development programme, was determined to perform strongly as the FIA F3 season got back underway following a six-week break since the season opener in Spain.
However, he was denied the opportunity in Friday practice when his car suffered a differential problem that robbed him of all-important track time. The technical issue meant he went into Qualifying on the back foot and, as a result, qualified P23 for Race One.
“The diff problem meant I had no experience for qualifying. I was starting from zero and in those circumstances I didn’t do a bad job, but it was not where my potential says I should be,” the Stobag-supported driver said.
“In Race One on Saturday, I made a brilliant start and drove quite well in the opening laps, making up several places, but after that I felt I had no pace and it became impossible to progress further. Finishing P15 from a P23 starting position wasn’t too bad, but I was fortunate that so many cars retired from the race.”
With grid positions for Race Two determined by the Race One finishing order, Fabio lined up P15 for the start on Sunday, with his eyes on a top-ten finish.
“I again made a super start and gained places,” the 20-year-old explained. “However, I was still struggling for speed on the long straights. Even when I was able to use the Drag Reduction System (DRS), I didn’t have the top speed to challenge the cars ahead of me. That was a shame; some of the cars which started around me on the grid ended up in the top five at the end of the race, so the potential was definitely there.”
Fabio was forced to retire on Lap 12. He said: “I was in a fight and went into Turn One with two other cars. I was on the dirty side of the track and ran wide over the sausage kerb, which broke the front-left suspension.
“Although it was a difficult weekend, I can take some positives from it,” he added. “I put it all together in qualifying, and drove well in the early stages of both races, which is good for confidence. As a team, we’ll analyse where we felt we were lacking this weekend and I’ll get another opportunity to prove what I can do in Austria.”
Fabio immediately turns his attention to the next round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship at the Red Bull Ring, Austria, next weekend (28-30 June).