NEOM McLaren Formula E Team boss Ian James is thrilled to be returning to the Riyadh Street Circuit this weekend for the Diriyah E-Prix, which is hosting rounds two and three of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
The season started strongly for McLaren in Mexico City, with rookie Jake Hughes having shown strong pace throughout the opening weekend of the season. The British driver qualified third and went on to finish fifth, highlighting his and the team’s potential. For René Rast, it was a trickier weekend, with the German having retired from the race late on following a collision with Oliver Rowland.
The whole team, though, is excited for the upcoming weekend in Saudi Arabia, with the venue being one that Rast rates as one of the best of the season. Hughes, too, can’t wait to race at what is one of the hardest tracks on the calendar, with the smallest of errors resulting in a collision with a wall.
Hughes and Rast will be hoping to avoid any unnecessary collisions, given that this weekend is a double-header. If that wasn’t enough for the team to deal with, it is also their title partner’s home race, meaning it’s a crucial weekend for NEOM and the Woking-based team.
James expects a “tough fight” this weekend as well as “some thrilling racing”, at the circuit which is “loved by many”.
“After a satisfying first round of the season for the team in Mexico City, just over a week ago, I’m looking forward to continue the racing in Saudi Arabia this coming weekend. The team has been performing superbly and both drivers have shown some good pace – Jake especially impressed with his performance in Mexico City.
“It is an exciting prospect to return to a track that has delivered some thrilling racing, and it’s a track that is loved by many – from fans to drivers. It’s always great to go racing, but there’s some extra anticipation around this particular race weekend for us as a team, as it’s the home race for our Title Partner NEOM.
“During the first round of the season we were able to see how close and competitive the field actually is this season; I think we can conclude it will be a tough fight. I can’t wait for ‘lights out’ on Friday and Saturday on the floodlit streets of Diriyah.”