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Jake Hughes reveals trickiest aspect for a rookie Formula E driver to learn

Jake Hughes talked exclusively to Total-Motorsport.com about life as a rookie driver in Formula E

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Jake Hughes has revealed managing energy with a pack of cars around you has been the biggest learning point for him in Formula E.

Hughes, who is the 10th in the championship ahead of the 2023 Monaco E-Prix, spent two years as a Formula E reserve driver and thinks he could not have been more prepared to join the series.

He had a strong start to the season, particularly impressive in qualifying for McLaren as he took pole position in the second Saudi Arabia race.

Asked exclusively by Total-Motorsport.com about what has been the toughest aspect to learn, Hughes said: “It’s just how to manage your energy.

“I’ve been in simulators for years now and the races we do in the sim are all quite flat, as we call it, in terms of there’s no other cars around us, no pressure from front and behind. You can’t replicate that in the sim.

“I was ready in terms of how to manage energy by myself in the sim but then being around 20 other cars, who are on different strategies, it’s different.

“It fluctuates a lot more than what I prepared in a simple so that’s that’s the thing I’ve had to get on top of the most.”

McLaren had a difficult weekend in Berlin as they failed to score points and have not featured towards the front of the pack since Cape Town in February.

Hughes alluded that other teams have improved more than McLaren during the season, hinting at the development of the Jaguar-powered cars.

“Early on in the year, we were definitely good in qualifying,” said Hughes. “I think you are naturally seeing with more races that some of the teams that maybe were underperforming in qualifying [at the start of the year] have got on top of it.

“In the race, we’ve definitely been on the side to find qualifying more to our liking, ot to say we’ve been uncompetitive but there are a few cars there that are more competitive. I don’t think that’s unfair to say. It’s up to us as McLaren and Nissan to improve that.”

Jake Hughes in action at the Diriyah E-Prix | Formula E

Hughes raced in junior series for a decade, before pushing for a Formula E seat in more recent years.

The 28-year-old, who was Mercedes‘ simulator driver in 2021 and 2022, says he is enjoying racing more than ever.

“I’ve been with the team for years now so I’ve understood how professional, how well prepared we are and what the process is for everything,” explained Hughes.

“I’ve always wanted to be in the race seat, exploring that, getting the support from everybody, implementing what I think we need to do.

“It’s just been great to be in the hot seat with this group of people. So I’m really enjoying it.”

Nigel Chiu
Nigel Chiuhttps://total-motorsport.com/author/nigel-chiu/
Nigel Chiu is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who worked at Total-Motorsport for 18 months until May 2023. He has been following F1 since 2007 and hasn’t missed a Grand Prix weekend since. Nigel’s worked with several motorsport websites, plus Eurosport and subsequently went on to work with Sky Sports F1 where he travels to multiple F1 races each season.
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