Red Bull junior Hauger must perform this season: 'It's a ruthless game'

Red Bull junior Hauger must perform this season: 'It's a ruthless game'

16-03-2023 07:00

As one of the Red Bull juniors, many eyes are on Dennis Hauger in Formula 2 this season. MP Motorsport's Norwegian may only be 19, but he already seems to be at a turning point in his fledgling career: will there be a real chance of advancing to Formula 1 or should Hauger slowly focus on a future in a different racing class?

Although Hauger only celebrates his 20th birthday this Friday, he has already had several seasons in international racing. In his second season in Formula 4, he finished second in the final standings of the Italian championship. In 2021, Hauger took the title in Formula 3. As a rookie in F2, he did win two races last year (Monaco and Baku), but despite this, he did not progress beyond P10 in the final standings with the leading Prema team.

Extensive preparation

In his second year in Formula 2, he is well aware that he needs to do better. With reigning champions MP Motorsport, Hauger hopes to have a shot at the title in the class just below Formula 1 this season. "I have been at home in Norway", he tells GPblog and others.

"I did a lot of training with the team I have around me. Getting prepared (for the season). It's lot of work to be 100 per cent for the season. I have been at MP and at Red Bull, where I did some simulator work. I went back and forth. It was good to keep everything going, getting to know everyone though preseason."

Quick adjustment

In the sprint race in Bahrain, Hauger finished second, during the main race the Norwegian did not manage to reach the finish line. He is already 24 points behind the favourite Theo Pourchaire. A good - actually even outstanding - season seems to be needed to keep Hauger's F1 dream alive. After all, the past has shown that Formula 1 teams hardly ever attract drivers who have been active in F2 for more than two years.

"It is obviously true", says Hauger, when GPblog asked him about this. "Going up the steps in formula racing, you have to adapt quickly. Even in F1 you have to adapt quickly, to stay there. It is part of the steps going up, I think. Obviously you go in to the second season, more experienced, more knowledge of the car and the championship. It is a ruthless game. It is how it is."

High expectations

Especially when you are part of Red Bull's junior programme, the outside world keeps a close eye on everything you do. After all, a contract with the Austrians means high expectations. It’s natural you’ll get expectations. "It is all a part of it. So in the end, you have to take it with you and focus on yourself. You can’t really think too much about what people think all the time. You have to live it. At the end, my focus is on my second season and not too much about everything around", Hauger concludes.