Dennis Hauger is a driver who knows how to win a championship, winning multiple titles in Karting before progressing into single seater racing, winning the Italian F4 Championship and this year the FIA Formula 3 Championship in his four years since progressing from karts which has lead to the Norwegian being earmarked as a star of the future by Red Bull, who have had Hauger signed to their driver academy since 2017.
Going into the FIA Formula 3 season, it was Dennis Hauger who was the firm favorite for the title for many, with the Norwegian moving to a team with the experience and results of PREMA and having an already decorated palmarès served as good reason for many making that decision which would ultimately prove to be correct.
For Hauger, this talk was just ‘white noise’ and the Norwegian had the maturity to keep a cool head and not to change his mindset ahead of the season. Obviously there are times when he might have opted out of a move thinking about the ‘bigger picture’ in terms of the championship but often, the inner ‘racer’ in Dennis urges him to go for the overtake.
“I didn’t really feel any pressure like that, there is always going to be some kind of pressure no matter what but not something that changed my mindset. I work with the team and take race by race but obviously we keep the championship in mind. But I’ve always gone for the moves I think is possible.”
Hauger also knows the importance of collaborating successfully with a team, something which is easy when you race with a team of the standard of PREMA who came into the season as double reigning team champions : “I think its important to keep going forward as a team and driver when it’s such a long season.” Connecting well with your team right from the beginning was imperative for Hauger, with such a short time in the season and having experienced a year with PREMA he now can understand why they have been so successful in virtually every Feeder Series championship.
“Working with Prema is a great feeling, we connected well from the beginning and I can understand why they have such a good history. I can really work with them to find something that suits me and my style for the car and that just strengthens my confidence on track and the trust we have.”
Off the back of a slightly difficult year with Hitech in 2020 where Hauger struggled with confidence in the car, having the confidence to pull off the audacious moves that we saw throughout the season or having the confidence to push the car to the absolute limit to take one of his three pole positions throughout the season.
“Which was a little bit of an issue in 2020 were I just struggled to get a car I could find myself confident in and never really got to work on that. So going into 2021 confident with Prema was a good feeling.”
For Hauger, Red Bull have been an ever-present force in his career, and the Norwegian has see’s their support as a great opportunity and enjoys their support in a more laid-back fashion, leaving day-to-day running’s down to the team and himself allowing him to concentrate on what he needs to be focusing on.
“They have been with me since the beginning of my formula career and obviously it’s a good opportunity for me. They are not so involved during the race weekends, they let me work with the team and keep the focus on what I have to.”
As with all academy talents for Red Bull, Helmut Marko is in charge of overseeing his development and the Norwegian spends time in the UK for Simulator training as well as being able to spend time at a Red Bull training center to ensure his is ready both physically and mentally.
“I talk with Helmut Marko sometimes and go to the UK for simulator training which is nice. They also send us to a Red Bull training centre they have to make sure we are ready physically and mentally.”