Going from ice karting in Norway all the way to the Formula 2 grid, it's been quite a journey for Dennis Hauger. As his rookie season draws ever closer to its end in Yas Island, the PREMA Racing driver talked us through those who have left a lasting impact upon his career and who he views as most pivotal so far.
“In terms of motivation and looking up to someone and stuff like that, it’s definitely when I started racing with my dad. With him being a mechanic and working together a lot on track and off track and obviously he’s obviously the person I spent the most time with in my life, growing up and travelling, all that. I've been doing it since I was 11 in national karting. He’s definitely a person that I've always looked up to and I've worked with a lot on the way to be better and he’s good motivator.
“My father was doing rallying back home in Norway. I was watching him. When I was two, I got my first baby car, you know, where you have to push and I used to get my mum to take my time every lap around the house. I was basically just driving around all the time. For example, I fell off once and I still have the scar. I started crying and then I just got back up into the car and kept driving. It's always been something I've enjoyed doing, obviously with the motocross first and then karting at five. So it's always been a bit in the family but it's always been like the one thing I've enjoyed the most and never really thought about doing anything else. It's always been a sort of part of my life.”
“My manager has always been there. Him and my dad have always been the two people that have been with me along the way, especially when I was younger and still learning a lot of things, getting stronger mentally and everything like that. It's a hard game with ups and downs all the way.
“My dad talked to him a bit and they knew each other already a bit and I was around 11 or 12 I think, doing international karting for my first year, doing well and my dad sort of asked for a meeting to get to know each other a bit. We needed help if we were going further with it, and obviously with sponsoers and everything, it's a lot of work. He had actually retired from that sort of stuff and not really done it but he watched some races. He’d never actually managed a Norwegian driver before, so we met and then he got quite confident to be a part of it. And since then, we’ve been travelling together and it's sort of my second family to be fair. It's been a really good relationship all the way, working together for so many years it builds a strong bond and a good way to build character and support around my career.”
Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel
“On the driver side, I had two people I looked up to. Michael Schumacher was a bit before my time, but I always watched old videos. I remember when I was smaller his days when he was in Ferrari. I think the very first memories I had from F1 was when Sebastian Vettel was driving at Red Bull. Those two are the main ones I looked up to when I was watching and not just as drivers but also as a person. They stand out a bit in terms of what type of person you want to be. They’re the main ones.”