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Hughes: 'Less margin for error' as he prepares for first night race on a street circuit

NEOM McLaren's Jakes Hughes certainly impressed a lot of people after his Formula E debut in Mexico City earlier this month. As well as a new generation of the championship to get to grips with, he also got his first taste of racing these all-electric beasts.

Hughes Diriyah

Crossing the line in Mexico to finish fifth, Hughes looked physically and mentally exhausted from the first race of the new GEN3 era. He even labelled it the "hardest race I've ever done" in the Drivers' Room after the event.

"I kind of knew that it was going to be that way," Hughes explained. "The feeling is very different once you're actually in the car compared to just watching it on TV.

"I've been in and around Formula E in the paddock for a number of years. So I've seen where we worked with Mercedes before, how Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries, especially, were working through a weekend.

"But it's different when you're in your own race cars. There are a lot more media commitments, a lot of meetings and short turnaround in between sessions."

hughes diriyah press conference

As well as McLaren joining Formula E for the first time in Season 9, they've also bought a fresh new driver line-up with Hughes and three-time DTM Champion Rene Rast. Speaking about his new teammate, Hughes said the NEOM McLaren duo "get on like a house on fire".

"It's very critical in a new set of regulations. For me, as a rookie, it's important that I learn as much as I can from Rene. He's a very experienced racing driver in general and has won a lot of races and championships everywhere. So I'd be silly not to tap into him as much as possible. But we're getting on really well so far."

As for the double-header in Diriyah this weekend, Hughes is really looking forward to tackling the twists and turns of this epic street circuit.

"I think Mexico was a good warm-up for me in terms of the general race track. But here is a more typical Formula E street track - less margin for error.

"So I've got a build-up to it, but I'm looking forward to it. The track looks cool, and I always enjoy driving on street tracks. My first one driving on the street track at night will be a new experience!"