Hauger on Pole in Australia After Qualifying Twice Red-Flagged

Hauger on Pole in Australia After Qualifying Twice Red-Flagged

Dennis Hauger Formula 2 MP Motorsport Jeddah 2024

Norway’s Dennis Hauger scored his first-ever FIA Formula 2 pole position on Friday ahead of Round 3 of the 2024 season in Australia after a Qualifying session that was red-flagged on two occasions.

The MP Motorsport driver left it late to snatch pole but grabbed the top spot from PREMA’s Andrea Kimi Antonelli by over three-tenths of a second.

Hauger topped both F2 sessions in Melbourne on Friday, having earlier set the pace in Practice.

He becomes the third different driver to top Qualifying in 2024, after Invicta’s Kush Maini and Briton Oliver Bearman, and will hope to be the first of the three to actually start at the front on Sunday for the Feature Race.

Indian driver Maini was disqualified in Bahrain, while he was the benefactor of Bearman’s mid-weekend promotion to F1 in Saudi Arabia.

Bearman could only manage 16th with PREMA, while championship leader Zane Maloney secured fifth position.

The session was stopped twice after accidents for ART’s Victor Martins and DAMS Lucas Oils Jak Crawford.

Chaotic Qualifying Reaches Dramatic Conclusion

Qualifying in Melbourne is crucial, as Ayumu Iwasa proved in 2023 by winning the Feature Race from pole position. 

And a number of drivers looked to have the pace to claim it on Friday, before Hauger emerged above the rest.

However, the fight for pole was put on hold after just five minutes when Victor Martins spun on the exit of Turn 7 and brought an early end to his session.

The Frenchman badly needed a change of fortune in Australia but his rotten season continues and he faces an uphill task to score his first points of the year.

After the first of set of runs, Hauger was very close to the top of the time sheets, but Hitech GP’s Paul Aron was three-thousandths of a second quicker.

Rodin’s Zane Maloney went fastest with his third flying lap of the session, before a second red-flag was waved when Jak Crawford found the barriers at Turn 12.

The American had early picked up a puncture and chastised himself over the radio saying the poor session was his fault.

The session resumed with four minutes remaining and time enough for one flying lap.

Initially, Kush Maini went fastest, before PREMA’s Antonelli snatched P1 from him.

While that was happening, Jeddah Feature Race winner Enzo Fittipaldi crashed at Turn 6.

And while it seemed Antonelli was going to score his first pole in F2, Hauger set a blistering final lap to snatch pole by 0.344s.

He’ll line up on pole position for Sunday’s Feature Race, while Trident’s Roman Stan?k in P1 for Saturday’s reverse-grid Sprint Race.

Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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Dennis Hauger Formula 2 MP Motorsport Jeddah 2024