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Switzerland’s Fabio Scherer showed impressive race pace during the fifth round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship this weekend, but ultimately left the home of the Hungarian Grand Prix empty handed.

The Sauber Junior Team driver headed to the 4.38km Hungaroring circuit in optimistic mood after a strong performance at Silverstone last month. But the 20-year-old’s weekend suffered an early setback when he could only qualify P22 on Saturday morning.

“We struggled with the set-up of the car during practice and that meant we were chasing the other cars a lot during qualifying,” Stobag-supported Fabio explained. “Then I only had one lap to push and there was lots of traffic. I had to overtake something like eight cars. That definitely cost me time.”

Determined to make amends and push himself up the leaderboard, Fabio impressed during Saturday’s first race. While others in the midfield battle slowed, Fabio’s ability to look after his Pirelli tyres during the early part of the race paid dividends and that meant he got faster as the race unfolded. His reward was a P15 finish after 22 laps of hard racing.

“The race was maybe two laps too short for me because I was really pushing through the field at the end,” he said. “The tyres seemed to be working well and I felt I was driving cleanly. It wasn’t a perfect race but there were some positives to take.”

Starting from P15 on the grid for Sunday morning’s final race, Fabio was hopeful he could push forward again and potentially challenge for the point-scoring positions.

However, tyre degradation proved to be more of a problem on the tight and twisty track and Fabio was only able to make up two places as he came home P13 and finished as the top Sauber Junior Team driver for the third successive race.

“I felt I drove well again but the car was eating the tyres like crazy,” Fabio explained. “It was a difficult race and nothing more was really possible. I think i probably got the most out of the situation.”

With the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend complete, Fabio and the rest of the FIA Formula 3 Championship now face a four-week break until the sixth round of the series at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium (30 August – 1 September).

Fabio said: “We’ll work hard to learn from what happened this weekend and then we head to Spa which is a track I love. I got my first F3 podium there last season when I finished P2 in the European championship so I’m hoping I can have another strong weekend.”

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