Dennis Hauger’s second-place finish in Sprint Race 1 in FIA Formula 3 on Friday saw the Norwegian driver claim the 2021 F3 crown ahead of title challenger and fellow Red Bull Junior, Jack Doohan.
And now that he is the champ, Hauger looks ready to make the step up to FIA Formula 2 in 2022.
Hauger’s Remarkable F3 Campaign
The Norwegian driver has been a motorsport enthusiast from his very earliest years. His father, Tom Eric Hauger, explained that his son’s racing journey started when “he rode a small quad when he was 2″ and then progressed as it was “motocross when he was 4, and then started to do some karting when he was 5.”
Now at the age of 18, and with four wins and five podiums in F3 achieved in his winning campaign this season, Hauger has demonstrated the skill and class of an FIA Formula 3 Champion. He looked unstoppable and almost certain to take the title after being the man to beat since the beginning of the season in Barcelona.
Hauger’s lights to flag victory in Race 3 and claiming pole position in the last few moments of qualifying at Zandvoort emphasised the Norwegian’s all-round ability as a racing driver. He was able to bounce back after a difficult F3 round in Spa, and from the hardship of a tough 2020 season both on and off-track having to be away from his family with the impact of Covid 19.
Friday’s podium finish in Sprint Race 1, which confirmed him as the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Champion was the icing on the cake for Hauger in a dominant campaign.
Looking Ahead For Hauger
Now that he has secured the Drivers’ Championship, Hauger will be concentrating on helping his team (PREMA) win the Teams’ Championship. He’ll then switch focus on making the step up to FIA Formula 2 next season.
Red Bull’s Head of Driver Development, Dr Helmut Marko, confirmed Hauger will make the step up, stating that Hauger “will drive for us in Formula 2 in 2022 and there is only one step to make after that.”
Marko also praised Hauger for his great ability and speed this season, saying that the Norwegian driver “is very much going in the right direction”.
The interest in Formula 1 has increased back at home for Hauger in Norway, with many viewing his current success in terms of a future opportunity in F1.
Hauger is no stranger in having to adapt to different cars. In 2020 he was also driving in the Porsche Cup and Regional F3 along with racing in FIA Formula 3.
With the confidence he has, making the step up to FIA Formula 2 may not be too difficult for Hauger. Especially since he has been driving for PREMA in their F3 car this season and is familiar with the team and their base in Italy.
If either Oscar Piastri or Robert Shwartzman wins FIA Formula 2 this season then there could be the possibility that Hauger moves up to a PREMA F2 seat next season. This would make the Norwegian driver’s transition to F2 smoother as he already has a strong relationship with the Italian team.
A Blockbuster Red Bull Junior battle in F2 for 2022
So, with the prospect of Hauger (who has been a Red Bull Junior since 2015) joining the F2 grid next year looking on the cards, the Norwegian driver could be competing against fellow Red Bull Juniors Jehan Daruvala, Juri Vips and Liam Lawson.
This could make the fight between the Red Bull Juniors for the 2023 Red Bull and AlphaTauri F1 seats very interesting next season, should all drivers be confirmed to be competing in F2 in 2022.
Image: Formula Motorsport Ltd