Despite his struggles this season, Fabio Scherer insists that both himself and his Sauber Junior Team by Charouz squad have improved as a result of a tough 2019 campaign, both physically and mentally.

The Swiss driver has endured a trying debut season following his switch from the now defunct European Formula 3 Championship, earning just three points’ finishes and an overall tally of seven.

“It has made me mentally stronger, for sure,” Scherer said. “From the outside, you don't really see it, but I think that I have improved in quite a lot of ways. For example, in my consistency, because besides the Red Bull Ring, I have not made many big mistakes and that is a good thing. Pace wise too, I think that I have improved in that area.”

It was during the penultimate round in Monza when the 20-year-old secured his highest haul of points, with eighth and seventh place finishes, and he says that while they remain a long-way off where he wants to be, that was a “step in the right direction.”

“There is still a lot more potential to come,” he continued. “In Race 1, we were quite lucky with a lot of safety cars. Quite quickly after the restart, I gained all of my positons. That for sure was a good thing. The car was improved, but I think that we still needed to improve quite a bit.

“Then, when you start on reverse pole in Race 2, to finish P7 is not really what you want. We were a bit unlucky though with a massively drying track. It was a step in the right direction after the first six rounds, which were really difficult. For sure, I was pleased with that. I think that we learned quite a lot in Monza.”

Sochi saw further struggles for Scherer, as he suffered retirement in both Race 1 and Race 2, at a track where he had no previous racing experience. Teammate Raoul Hyman was the side’s sole points’ scorer over the final weekend, but it was Scherer who topped the trio in the standings, sitting 17th.

The 20-year-old can take confidence from this feat heading into the 2020 season, although, he says that he is yet to finalise his plans for the new campaign.

“In the last few rounds, I think that I have been quite quick compared to my teammates, so I think that it is going into the right direction.

“Let’s see what the New Year brings, I don't know yet, but we will see.”