Dennis Hauger secured his best Qualifying result since Barcelona with P9 on the grid around the Hungaroring. The MP Motorsport driver had mixed feelings after the session, believing that a top five result was on the cards if he had put everything together on his final lap.

It has been a tough season for the Norwegian on a Friday, with his best Qualifying result of the year being P4 and coming all the way back in the season opening race in Sakhir. While Hauger says a better result may have been on the cards with a cleaner lap, he was satisfied with his effort with such a narrow gap to those ahead.

“Overall, we wanted more. It was only five-hundredths to P6, so I think it was reachable by putting it together. It was still not enough for us today to go to the top but for sure, up there in P6 or 5 was reachable. Obviously, I’m not 100% happy but it’s at least in the top 10. It’s been a few hard weeks, especially in Qualifying on that second set. We’ve struggled a bit to put it down for the lap so at least we’re in the top 10 and can do something throughout the weekend tomorrow and on Sunday.

“The first set was pretty good. I think we were running fifth or sixth and I felt we had a decent rhythm, just couldn’t quite put it together between lap one and lap two with the different tyres and everything. The warmup to get the rear and the front up on the same lap is really hard around here for the temperature. It wasn’t easy.”

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Reflecting on another mixed Friday session, Hauger says that the team still has some work to do in order to replicate its 2022 form over a single lap. While the Norwegian driver was happy to be back in the top 10, both he and teammate Jehan Daruvala felt the major time loss came in the flowing middle sector.

“It’s hard to say to be honest. Some teams are better on some tracks, it’s always a bit up and down. Between me and Jehan, there was a bit of time here and there but for me generally, sector two for both of us was where we lost the most compared to the top.

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“There were a few things between us in that sector but not as much as it was to the top so need to look into that obviously. Anyway, if we did a top five, I would’ve been really happy to be honest. P9 is a place to fight from anyway. I just need to figure how we can improve the Qualifying one step further because I think that’s our weak point. Race pace has always been good, we just have to take it step by step in the end.”

Refocusing his attentions to the Sprint Race, Hauger is confident that he has a shot at victory from the front row of the grid. He’ll have Campos Racing’s Kush Maini ahead of him, but a great opportunity to pass the Indian driver right away from lights out, with such a long run to the first corner.

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Should he be able to clear Maini, Hauger says that victory is well within his and MP’s capabilities. Points on Sunday is also the expectation. Two points finishes ahead of Spa-Francorchamps and the looming summer break would be a timely result to carry into the next phase of the season. A good result will likely come down to tyre management, with degradation levels around the Hungaroring expected to be high as usual.

“It’s a place to do something starting in the top 10, especially on this track when there’s quite a bit of deg and a bit of strategy, stuff you can play with at least. There’s something you can do around here.

“There wasn’t the biggest tyre deg in FP actually, but we all know it’s quite a lot here once you do 10 laps on these tyres, it starts to drop quite a bit. For sure it’ll play a big part. Starting at the front, I’m just aiming for a good start and if we don’t come out first, at least we can try to stay around there and I think being calm and patient and keeping the tyres in the window, at least you can do something towards the end. That’ll be the plan. Then we will see in the end. We don’t know what the pace will be around here but I’m quite confident. We normally have quite good race pace so we have to stick with what we know and then go from there.

“The win is possible, definitely. If we have a good start we can just pull away, I’m 100% sure of it. We just have to try and make the best of it and as I said, I’m confident in our race pace. That’s our goal tomorrow, to get a win.”