Ahead of the 2020 season finale, Dennis Hauger was 16th in the standings on just 14 points. This time around, he’s got a mega haul of 193, 43 ahead of Jack Doohan in second, and he’s on the verge of clinching the Formula 3 title.
The Red Bull backed Norwegian has been completely transformed in his second season at this level, showing a relentless consistency to lead the Championship from beginning to end. Finishing out of the points just twice, the PREMA Racing driver has claimed four wins, eight podiums and three pole positions.
With just one round of the season to go, Hauger can seal the title as early as Saturday morning in Sochi if he finishes the opening Sprint Race with a 44-point lead, and according to team boss René Rosin, he “has everything in his hands.”
“He needs to keep doing the same job that he’s done so far, and it will come,” said Rosin. “So far, everything is under control. The team are all behind him and pushing for him to get the job done as soon as possible.
“Jack (Doohan) has had a good season as well, considering where he was last year, and the challenge will be hard, but I think Dennis has everything in his hands to finish the job.”
Hauger switched from Hitech Grand Prix to PREMA for 2021 and instantly clicked with the Italian team, who have won the last two drivers’ and teams’ Championships.
They’re on course to retain both in Sochi, and Hauger’s played a defining role. The 18-year-old has 101 points more than Olli Caldwell and 126 over Arthur Leclerc, both his teammates, and Rosin said he’s been “really, really impressed.”
“Dennis has had a tremendous season,” said Rosin. “If we consider his season last year and what he is doing now, he’s a totally different driver.
“Even in Spa, where we had our most difficult weekend and the conditions were absolutely awful with the rain, he was still able to overtake and score points. It is really difficult to overtake in conditions like that, but Dennis was able to do it and I was very impressed.
“We have just one round to go now in Sochi. We had the final round there in 2019 and won the Championship with Robert (Shwartzman) and won Race 1 with Marcus (Armstrong). We want to repeat that this year. We have one last push, and we will go for it.”