Dennis Hauger started well enough at Spa-Francorchamps, securing the second-fastest lap in a rain-affected Free Practice session. The MP Motorsport driver delivered a 2:17.186 to go three-tenths off Jack Doohan’s best effort just before the session-ending Red Flag.

Reflecting on the morning’s running, Hauger was pleased he was able to put together a promising lap, despite having limited mileage with only five laps on the board.

“It was not too bad. I think we were one of the drivers out there with the least laps, but in the end, we got a decent lap in before the Red Flag. I got the lap in at the right time in the end, but we didn’t do so many laps either compared to the others.

"There are some things to look into for Qualifying and we’ll try to make some small steps to maximise it, but it should be interesting to see how the weather goes. It was drying up at some point, but it starts to rain again on-and-off, so it’s going to be tricky.”

What weather conditions the field will face is the topic hanging over the entirety of Round 11’s running at the Belgian circuit. Whilst light drizzle gave way to a pause in the rain and a slowly drying circuit in Practice, downpours are expected ahead of Qualifying.

With only three sets of wet tyres to play with across the weekend, Hauger says how they utilise those blue-walled compound is a strategic game and sacrificing some early morning running was necessary to give them the best fighting chance from the start of the afternoon’s action.

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The unpredictability of the session is going to keep the field on their toes, knowing that they’ll need to be ready to set their flying attempts at a moment’s notice in order to capitalise on any improvements in track conditions.

Regardless of what the weather throws at them, Hauger recognises that it will all come down to who can adapt their driving and setup the best.

“With the rule for the wet Pirelli tyres, it’s making the weekend a bit harder, especially in Free Practice as we can’t really do that many laps because we have to use those tyres in Qualifying as the first set. That’s why we try to limit it and it’s a bit about trying to be smart with that during the weekend. We’ll just have to see and try to do Qualifying the best we can, which is the main thing for us and the main struggle.

READ MORE: PRACTICE: Doohan headlines running at rainy Spa-Francorchamps

Although Hauger has secured two Sprint Race victories this season, results haven't been as strong in Qualifying. The Norwegian driver hasn't qualified higher than fourth since the opening round of the campaign in Sakhir.

After starting off on the right foot, the Red Bull junior’s goal is to remain firmly in the mix at the front of the field, situating himself in a prime position to achieve a solid haul of points in both races.

“If I can stay around where I was in FP that would be great! I think we have decent pace in the wet now, so if we can do a few tweaks here and there, we hopefully can be up there in the top three. That would be a good target at least and try and get our best Qualifying result of the year, going into the top three would be great. That would obviously make the weekend a lot easier for us compared to other weekends. I think the race pace is 100% there, so we’ll push for Qualifying.”