Hauger seals maiden F3 title with second in Sochi sprint

Dennis Hauger capped off a brilliant season for himself and his Prema team after a second place in the opening sprint race was enough to earn him the title.

The Norwegian driver already held a huge 43 point advantage going into the final race weekend of the season but with title rival Jack Doohan plummeting backwards at the start, it made his job that much easier, making up two places from his starting position to take the second behind Logan Sargeant.

“It would have been a nice way to get the Championship obviously but I think also, in the beginning, fighting Crawford and then getting up to Victor and having a good battle with him,” commented Hauger afterward. “From then on I was really focused on trying to move forward but Victor was staying quite close and I had to half-defend a bit and keep it clean.

“When the VSC ended I got some space, and I managed to get a good rhythm and into that last lap it was close. I finally got the DRS, it was a shame it was on the last lap but otherwise happy about the second. I think I’ve never been that happy about a second-place before!”

It was American Sargeant who got the best start, grabbing the lead off Victor Martins out of Turn 4 as behind him Hauger passed Jak Crawford at Turn 13 before setting about Martins. And when he got the job done at Turn 2 he settled into a comfortable rhythm behind leader Sargeant.

And with second place more than enough to comfortably give him his first F3 title, there was no point in even risking a pass on former Prema man Sargeant and the celebrations could begin.

“I feel like I didn’t take any unnecessary risks per se, but I felt I had a decent pace,” added Hauger. “I think from Qualifying where we weren’t the strongest I think we made some changes in the right direction and the pace was there.

“When you see a gap you have to go for it right? So it was good fun and I enjoyed racing around here, it was really cool. A few positions up and happy about it.

“It means everything. Reward for all of the work that we have done with the team all year to prep and get everything set for the races and all of the travelling – it is a lifestyle. You do it because you love it. It is enjoyable, but hard work as well. Last season wasn’t the best year, it was hard mentally, so getting the Championship is unreal.”


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