How a change of approach helped Jake Hughes take maiden podium at the Shanghai E-Prix

Jake Hughes took second place in the second race at the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix, marking his first podium in Formula E

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After 27 races, McLaren driver Jake Hughes took his first podium in Formula E, clinching second place at the second race of the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix.

Hughes started the race on strong footing, beating Stoffel Vandoorne by 0.001s to take pole position. Despite missing out on the race win to Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa, Hughes drove a well-managed race, holding off the other front runners to secure his maiden podium.

Hughes dissected his approach to the 28 lap race around the Shanghai International Circuit, sharing that he’d tried a different approach than he would usually take.

“I think it’s fair to say these pack races haven’t been kind to me or I haven’t helped the situation as well,” Hughes told the press. “I think I took a leaf a little bit out of Ollie [Rowland’s] book today and just wanted to make sure I stayed near the front. That meant being quite aggressive and trying to make some moves.

“I think it paid off. It’s amazing how much easier the race felt, driving like I did today. It’s hopefully something we can continue.”

A long time coming

Hughes had come close to a podium finish on a few occasions, often falling just short of the third step. The Brit came particularly close to the podium at the second race of the 2024 Diriyah E-Prix, where he finished fourth — a career best at the time.

Now, having claimed his first Formula E podium, Hughes seemed relieved to have finally achieved what had eluded him for almost two seasons.

“It’s about time, in all honesty,” Hughes said after the race. “Qualifying’s not been an issue since the start of last year.

“Getting four poles already is quite a nice ratio, but considering where I’ve been starting these races the past two years, especially these ‘peloton races’ as we like to nickname them, to not have got a podium until today has been quite frustrating.

“I think today, finally, it’s about time. I’m just over the moon, but more happy for the team if anything, because it’s been a tough three months or so since Sam [Bird’s] win in Brazil, so they deserve this.”

Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsport in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. She has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
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