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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 this weekend.

The up-and-coming Swiss driver came into the eighth and final round of the season in optimistic mood after a double points-scoring finish last time out at Monza. But he was forced to retire from both races in Russia.

“Free practice wasn’t too bad, but in qualifying we went the wrong way with the set-up of the car. I struggled with the overall balance and had too much oversteer,” said Fabio, who qualified P22 around the 5.84km circuit.

In the first 20-lap race on Saturday morning, the Stobag-supported driver started confidently and was increasing his pace when light contact on lap 10 damaged the suspension of his car, forcing him to pull into the pits and retire.

“As I fought for position on the straight there was a very small touch. There was almost no contact at all, but the suspension was bent, so my first race came to an early end for me,” the 20-year-old explained.

In Race Two on Sunday, Fabio started from P26 and made useful early progress, but from the outset he had a technical issue on his Sauber Junior Team by Charouz car.

“Sitting in my car on the grid before the race, I noticed there was a problem with the level of battery charge,” he said. “It was a disappointing feeling to know I had a problem, but I just tried to focus on doing my best. The pace was okay, but after eight laps everything on my steering wheel display went off and that was it. I had to stop.

“Sochi was my last chance to end the Formula 3 season with a nice result. It was a disappointing way to finish, especially coming off the back of my points finishes at Monza earlier this month.

“However, I’m already turning my focus to next season. I’ll keep my head down and work as hard as I can to give myself the best possible chance to move up the grid.”

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