Dennis Hauger opened up about the intense battle with Van Amersfoort Racing’s Amaury Cordeel to keep his position in fourth in Saturday’s Sprint Race.
The PREMA Racing driver fought hard to add five championship points to his tally as the frantic start to the final Sprint Race of the 2022 season immediately pressurized him, with Logan Sargeant attempting to move around the outside. Later in the race, Hauger sustained some pressure from Felipe Drugovich, who pulled off a lovely switchback to work his way up to third.
However, the Norwegian claimed that the battle to stay ahead of Cordeel was the most challenging part of the race. He said: “Not the perfect start, but I managed to save my position; then, I started to struggle early on, but I tried to hang on and survive with it and just tried to keep everything sort of clean. I started to gain some time and some ground on me, and I just started stripping more and more at the same time.
“I struggled to stay in front of him (Cordeel) and tried to hang on, but I couldn’t. In the last couple of laps, I started getting some grip back and tried to fight, but it was quite tough to fight in general.
“The left mirror of my car was pointing a bit up. I can’t see anything on the left side. Everything that was happening on this track is obviously on the left side because it’s anti-clockwise, like fighting with Cordeel on the last lap; I don’t know if he was actually there before the very end of the corner.”
“I always try to give him some room to be safe. It was always quite extra hard to know in the fighting conditions where the guy works. Is that way my blind spot for most of the time on the left side?”
Despite not having the luxury to secure his fifth podium in his rookie season, Hauger claimed it was an exciting battle after switching places with Cordeel, who brought home his best result in Formula 2.
While it wasn’t what he’d been hoping for because he believes the circuit fits the team more than any circuits on the calendar, he remains optimistic for the remainder of the weekend.
“It was definitely tough, but overall, not the pace we were hoping for obviously to move forward, but in the end, I maximize what I could, and I had some good battles in the last lap as well, it was heavy but I enjoyed it.” He stated,
“I did what I could at that time. Obviously, just have to try and look at stuff for tomorrow and try to make it a bit better to move forward instead of backward or having to defend and stuff like that. We’ll have to enjoy the last race tomorrow and send it.”
With only one race to go in the 2022 campaign, Hauger has enjoyed a mixed rookie season with two wins and two podiums. Though he will have to part ways with the team he has been with since his glory days in the FIA Formula 3, he will look forward to taking the positives next year with MP Motorsport.
Hauger continued, “I felt feel like I’ve grown a lot this year and especially as a person, I think, you know, there’s been a lot of ups and downs turbulent year, but definitely taking a lot of knowledge, and different kinds of things with me that I will definitely bring next year.
“In that sense, I’m happy about the things I’ve learned, and when it’s not been great, I’m still taking those things with me. It’s been a learning year, that’s for sure.”
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