Formula E

Jake Hughes: “To deliver what we have is very impressive”

2 Mins read
Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E

Jake Hughes delivered a strong performance on his debut weekend in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, after having been towards the top in virtually every session at the Mexico City E-Prix.

Whilst the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team driver had to settle for fifth at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, he cemented his place as a driver to watch this season, despite his rookie title. The British driver was one of the only drivers to be consistently quick all weekend in Mexico City and even made it to the Semi-Finals of the duels, where he was knocked out by eventual race winner Jake Dennis. Despite having been knocked out prior to the final, Hughes actually set the second-fastest time during qualifying, further highlighting his potential.

Hughes performed strongly in the race after starting third, and remained there for the bulk of the race after failing to find a way past Lucas di Grassi. He did get overtaken by Pascal Wehrlein, though, in the latter stages of the race whilst activating his second Attack Mode. Hughes failed to reclaim third from Wehrlein and was then overtake by André Lotterer on the last-lap, after the McLaren driver was caught completely unaware at the Turn Nine/Ten chicane.

Nevertheless, claiming fifth on his debut was an impressive result, with the British driver having admitted that he was “happy with my performance” but that there are certainly “things we can improve on”.

“It’s been a good weekend! I finished with a really good result and I’m really impressed with the team and how well we’re working together. It’s been such a short turnaround for us, we haven’t had much time with the car, so to deliver what we have is very impressive. We have things we can improve on, but I’m happy with my performance this weekend and we’ve learned some lessons to take away.” 

“It was a difficult race for me” – René Rast

Whilst there was much to be pleased about for Hughes, on the other side of the McLaren garage it is was commiseration for the returning René Rast, who retired from the race in its closing stages.

The returning German struggled for the majority of the weekend in Mexico City, with Hughes having been the only Nissan-powered driver to be consistently fast all weekend. Rast ultimately had to settle for fifteenth in qualifying whilst his team-mate was third. As the race got underway, the McLaren driver did make some ground; however, a late collision with Oliver Rowland broke his suspension, resulting in a disappointing retirement.

Rast admitted after the race that he “struggled overall” during the weekend but that “sometimes that’s how racing goes”. The German driver is keen to bounce back in Diriyah.

“It was a difficult race for me. I struggled overall today. Qualifying didn’t go too well. We had some pace during the race and made up some positions, but it wasn’t enough in the end. I made contact with another car, which broke my suspension. It was not the way we wanted to end the weekend but sometimes that’s how racing goes. I learned a lot that I’m looking to take forward to the next round in Diriyah.”

Credit: McLaren Media Centre
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