Ahead of Round 7 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship in Barcelona, MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger and Hitech GP’s Isack Hadjar spoke to InsideF2 about being part of the Red Bull Junior Team, a programme that has produced 17 Formula 1 drivers and six world titles since its establishment in 2001.
The Red Bull Junior Team intends to funnel successful graduates into F1 seats at Scuderia AlphaTauri, the sister team of reigning constructors’ champions Red Bull Racing.
Hauger and Hadjar are two of Red Bull’s six juniors hoping to follow the likes of Red Bull Junior Team alumni Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly to F1. Among the 22 drivers on the 2023 F2 grid, Hitech’s Jak Crawford, DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa and Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi and Zane Maloney and are also current Red Bull juniors, while Van Amersfoort’s Richard Verschoor, Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan and MP’s Jehan Daruvala are former members of the programme.
Hauger, who has been affiliated with the junior team since 2018, said that while the programme’s goals remain largely unchanged, there have been some infrastructural improvements during his time there.
“I don’t think much has changed in terms of the approach,” Hauger said. “They want to support us and try to help us to get out.
“The one thing would be probably the development they’re doing. I mean, before, there was not so much happening. Now they’re sort of building up more around training and simulator and the main things around being a driver, so I think that’s definitely changed in the past few years.
“In terms of experience for them as well as in terms of the junior team, [they’re] just helping us to improve.”
Hadjar was scouted by programme director and Red Bull Racing adviser Helmut Marko after winning during the Monaco round of the 2021 Formula Regional European Championship. Since his accession to the Red Bull Junior Team for 2022, the Frenchman impressed by finishing fourth in his rookie F3 season before stepping up to F2 this year.
“I haven’t been in the program since so long, so I could not really speak changes, but what I can tell is that they are taking really good care of us on every side for us to be as [good on] performance as possible,” he said.
Hauger enters Barcelona fifth in the standings on 48 points, while Hadjar is 16th on 18 points.
Image: MP Motorsport