Home Featured Hauger unsatisfied despite making Jeddah podium again in feature race

Hauger unsatisfied despite making Jeddah podium again in feature race

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Dennis Hauger had mixed feelings after taking third place in a photo finish to Formula 2’s Jeddah feature race.

The MP Motorsport driver had headed to Jeddah after taking two eighth places in round one at Bahrain, and he made a significant step forward by winning Friday’s sprint race and making the podium again in the feature race by 0.031 seconds.

But like the week before, he felt there was more left on the table.

“Overall, to be fair, a bit of a frustrating race,” he confessed. “Felt like we had more pace. Just got a bit stuck behind [Victor] Martins in the beginning on that first stint. And after that, there was a bit of a train. 

“On the last lap was quite tight, I was quite close to [Jak] Crawford before the last sector already and tried to unsettle him a bit for that last straight. And he had DRS as well and we all just bunched up into the last corner. Just tried to be smart about it. It was quite tight on the exit with Jak and got the DRS to go on the straight and I got it [by] three hundredths, I think. So it was a fun race, a lot of adrenaline. It was a good race. I think we could have done more but still happy with it.”

“You could say [the safety car] helped a bit,” he reckoned. “But at the same time I think the pace was looking good before that and I think everyone managed to sort of calm their tyres down a bit around the safety car and get back up to speed.

“If there were no [safety car period], I think the pace we were having in the few last laps was pretty good. So if we would have done more push laps, I think the margins could have been on our side even more. But in the end, it didn’t make the biggest difference.”

Having started sixth, ending his day with a podium after a race full of battling came as a bit as a surprise for the Norwegian.

“I was really trying to get by Kimi [Antonelli] for most of the race after the pitstops. And it was hard with the train, it was hard to get by and when I finally did, it freed up a bit for me in terms of pace. I could push a bit more to get to the next pack and I think we showed that straight away. After one-and-a-half laps, we were right behind Jak again to try and get by again. So, I didn’t expect [the podium] because it was such a train and so hard to get by.”

With two podiums already, Hauger expects to keep improving with F2’s new car.

“We’re still finding our way just progressing every round now with the new car and everything. So I think we’re on the right path and looking forward to continue to work into Melbourne.”