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Hauger hopes Monaco victory “can be a turning point” in F2

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Dennis Hauger hopes the maiden Formula 2 win he achieved by dominating the Monaco sprint race will be a breakthrough result after a difficult start in the championship.

After taking his first podium in Imola’s sprint race, the Prema driver declared he had made a big step forward in adapting to the car during the Barcelona in-season test. However, last weekend was again a tough one for the reigning Formula 3 champion who left the Spanish Grand Prix without scoring any points.

“I think we’ve built some speed up through the season,” Hauger said in the post-race press conference in Monaco.

“Definitely Barcelona was not good and disappointing, but I’m really happy we could turn things around a bit and get that first win. Hopefully this can be a turning point for us.”

The Red Bull junior driver said he had felt comfortable with the car straight away on his first time in Monaco.

“Free practice was quite good. I was P3 and felt everything was quite nice. I struggled a bit more in qualifying to just get the rhythm and get a nice feeling of the car. So, it wasn’t as good as I would have wanted, but it’s the first time in Monaco. Anyway, it’s just really enjoying the ride around here. So, it’s nice.”

Today’s victory at the first attempt felt “like a dream” to Hauger: “Obviously, watching Monaco and F1 as a kid around here, and first time here and get the win is a really nice feeling.”

After a mid-race safety car period, he opened a five-second gap to team-mate Jehan Daruvala, and Formula Scout asked him what he was thinking when the win was so close in the coming laps.

“I was just focusing on what I could control,” he said. “I knew I had some gap, so I just tried to keep that gap.

“Also, sometimes during the race I tried to go for a decent lap to get the fastest lap. I had it for a while, but someone took it away in the last couple of laps, and I didn’t have that pace right at the end. So, I just tried to minimise mistakes, keep everything clean and not overstress anything. I just enjoyed myself around there as well to be honest.”