2021 FIA Formula 3 Champion Dennis Hauger enjoyed his maiden Formula 2 outing at the post-season tests in Abu Dhabi and said that the experience was all about building up his “confidence and trust with the car” ahead of a hopeful full-time drive in the second tier.

Working alongside former F3 title contender Jehan Daruvala at PREMA Racing, Hauger found that there was a lot to learn, but he said that his fellow Red Bull junior’s experience was beneficial throughout the three days.

“Jehan (Daruvala) has two seasons under his belt, so he has quite a bit of experience and I could take from that,” said Hauger, who is yet to announce his plans for 2022. “I was trying to learn as much as I could from him.

“There is more tyre management than in F3, so I can take stuff like that from him and compare myself to him. We were only two-hundredths or so off Jehan, so it wasn’t too bad. It was about putting everything together and finding 100% trust in the car.

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Hauger drove for PREMA at the post-season F2 test in Abu Dhabi
Hauger drove for PREMA at the post-season F2 test in Abu Dhabi

“Overall, I think we are there, or thereabouts. We just need to make that last little step, which I’m not too worried about. I was just focused on learning as much as I could, I wasn’t focusing much on the laptimes.”

Finishing third in the afternoon stint on Day 3, Hauger – who won the 2021 F3 title with three poles, nine podiums and four wins - featured in the top 10 in five out of six sessions, quickly getting to grips with the upgrade in machinery.

Discussing the differences between the two cars, Hauger said: “There are quite a few. It definitely feels heavier in general, it has more horsepower, especially with the turbo, and you can feel it kicking more, so that is quite cool.

“You can steer more and there is more movement. It is a bit different in terms of driving style and that is something I was working on at the test. Getting the brakes to temperature, getting the balance right, there are a few more things to look after but it is fun, and I enjoyed it.”