The time has nearly come for Jake Hughes to make his highly anticipated rookie appearance in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with the ninth season of the all-electric series and Gen3 just a couple of days away.
This weekend’s season-opening Mexico City E-Prix will mark not only Hughes’ first race in the series, but also the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team‘s, with the Woking-based outfit having taken over from the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team. With that in mind, Hughes has been able to settle into McLaren well ahead of his debut, with the British driver having been Mercedes-EQ’s reserve driver.
For a rookie, Formula E is perhaps the hardest series to get up to speed in, given how different the cars and the tracks are to anything traditional; however, if pre-season testing is anything to go by, then Hughes could be one to watch. The former Formula 2 driver claimed victory in a mock-race which took place during testing, highlighting the reason why many are set to keep a close eye on the McLaren driver.
His outright pace also looked incredibly promising, giving Hughes hope that he “can get the season off to a good start”.
“I’m really looking forward to the Mexico City E-Prix. It’ll be my first Formula E race, so from a personal point of view I’m really excited. I think we’ve had a good pre-season even though we haven’t had much time in the car. Nevertheless, I think pre-season testing in Valencia went well, the team were up to speed and I felt like we were really well prepared.
“Going forwards to Mexico, I think we’re as ready as we can be. I have the best team behind me to go out and give my best to achieve the strongest result possible for them. Not only is it my first race in the series, it’s also McLaren’s first race in Formula E, which is a milestone. I’m really looking forward to it, and I believe we can get the season off to a good start.”
“We didn’t look too bad in Valencia” – René Rast
Alongside Hughes at McLaren is René Rast, who last competed in the all-electric series in Season Seven, where he then departed with Audi. Rast is back though and is eager to make up for lost time, with the German driver having been another who showed some promise during pre-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia.
Whilst the DS-powered cars are the favourites, McLaren could very possibly be the underdogs this weekend, with the customer Nissan outfit’s package looking like it has relatively strong performance. The Formula E podium finisher is understandably “looking forward” to getting the season underway; however, he’s also excited to be racing in Mexico City for the “first time”.
“I’m very much looking forward to the start of the season after such long time of preparation. We’ve spent many days in the simulator, days on track testing and it’s all coming together. I can’t wait for the race weekend to kick off.
“I’m looking forward to all the sessions, from practice and qualifying to the race. Hopefully we will be competitive, we didn’t look too bad in Valencia. It’ll be the my first time racing in Mexico City on a Formula E circuit. I’m looking forward to it, and am hoping for a great weekend.”