Something clicked for Hauger after Barcelona DNF: ‘I’m happy it happened’

There was no match for Dennis Hauger as he finished second in an unusual Friday Sprint race to claim the F3 World Championship.

By Charlie Parker

After a poor qualifying session that saw Hauger’s only championship rival, Jack Doohan, place his Trident car on pole, Hauger started in fourth due to the reverse grid format. The championship luck struck early for the Norwegian as Doohan was squeezed onto the sausage curb at turn one, a move that saw the Australian drop down to 17th.

Hauger didn’t settle for fourth however, he pushed on, setting fastest lap after fastest lap. Eventually making his way up to second, chasing Logan Sargeant in first. Sargeant would hold onto the win but Hauger’s second place finish was enough to secure him the championship. Hauger sat down with F1 Feeder Series and various media members after the race. 

Of course, with COVID restrictions, many drivers have had to move across the world to make their dreams come true. It is a bit different for Hauger, being from Norway has allowed his family to come and watch races, like Friday’s Sprint Race, but he still loves the lifestyle motorsport brings: “The title means everything. The work done with the team to get everything set for the race. Travelling and everything. It’s a lifestyle and it’s what I love so it’s enjoyable.”

The Prema driver has been dominant all season long and was confident from an early stage that this title was his to lose: “We’ve been leading the whole season so I felt confident straight away, after round one, that [the championship] was the goal and what we were aiming for. Obviously you have a weekend or a few races that don’t go as well, so you really have to work well with the team to regain momentum.”

However, the Red Bull affiliated driver admitted this year was not easy, despite the points difference: “It’s been hard work as well. Especially after last season, it wasn’t the best year. It was hard mentally. It’s been one of the fun-est years I’ve had, but it’s also been the hardest.”

Despite the difficulty, Hauger doesn’t have any regrets, and after winning the championship, how could you: “Maybe I regret race two in Barcelona, where I DNF’d. I don’t know, I would probably go for it again but in a more confident way. But otherwise, to be honest, I learnt from it and took it with me for the rest of the season and that clicked something in my head to get that consistency. So I’m happy that it happened.”

It’s been a long season under a new format that will be changed next season, but Hauger will celebrate his title the only way Dennis Hauger can, with some chicken: “Yeah there’s gonna be some chicken tonight. That’s something me and my engineer have been kidding about all season. It came on the radio late in the lap and I didn’t think it would come on TV. But obviously it did. It got stuck from there. But there will be chicken tonight for sure.”

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