Monday, May 27, 2024

Jake Hughes: Jakarta E-Prix ‘Wasn’t One to Remember’

Jake Hughes somewhat returned to reality last weekend at the Jakarta E-Prix, following on from his sensational performance in Monaco.

The rookie endured a “challenging” weekend at the tenth and eleventh rounds of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, as he left Southeast Asia with just a point. That point came in Saturday’s race, where he finished tenth. He did remarkably well to recover from twentieth on the grid, following an error in qualifying.

Hughes boasted good energy management and made excellent progress, something which gave him confidence for Sunday’s race.

“It was a challenging day, but we ended on a positive. I think we had strong pace in Qualifying over one lap – it was just the lap that mattered where we didn’t have the car in the window. Earlier on in the session, we could’ve done a lap that would’ve been good enough for P3, and we boxed that lap, but that was always planned. Maybe we should’ve finished that lap, but that’s easy to say in hindsight.

“We’ll put our learnings from that into practice for the second race here tomorrow. Due to Qualifying, we started the race in P20 and to finish P10 and earn a point is a good result. We were good with our energy management and the car balance was good. We go again tomorrow, and hopefully we can finish in the points again.” 

Unfortunately for Hughes, Sunday wasn’t a good day, It did start on a good note after he progressed to the duels, where he claimed eighth on the grid. However, he ended up retiring from the race following an issue, which he was forced to manage. It rounded off a difficult double-header, with the aim ahead of Portland being to diagnose the problem.

“That race tops off what was a challenging weekend. It was especially frustrating as René and I both got into the duels on separate days, had good starting positions, but were not able to translate that into good results. Yesterday’s race was a different style of race, being a shorter race. It seemed to suit us quite well, which was proven by me being able to gain ten positions in the race.

“Today however, we were managing an issue in the race which meant we effectively couldn’t compete the way we were hoping. We now have to understand what caused that issue and try avoid it from happening again in the future. This weekend wasn’t one to remember, but I’m looking forward to racing in Portland in a few weeks.”

Overheating issues “something we will have to investigate” – René Rast

Credit: LAT Images courtesy of FIA Formula E

René Rast‘s recent point-less streak continued in Indonesia, as the German endured a miserable weekend. Saturday though, started well for the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team driver, as he secured eighth on the grid. Unfortunately, a collision on the last lap saw him tumble to fifteenth, in what was an “unfortunate end to the race”.

“Today was a difficult day. We started well in Qualifying, we finished third in our group and got through into the duels – finishing P8 overall. This was a decent finish considering the pace we had. The race was challenging, the start wasn’t great and I lost two positions due to wheelspin. I tried to stick with the pack and save energy.

“At the end of the race, a last lap collision with another driver meant I finished outside the points. It was an unfortunate end to the race, but sometimes things don’t go your way. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow, when hopefully we can apply all our learnings from today.” 

Sunday was no better for the German, as his point-less streak extended to five races, dropping him to twelfth in the Drivers’ Championship. Rast finished fifteenth once again having starting from sixteenth, with him having also suffered from a problem. The McLaren driver was dealing with front-end overheating, something he wants the team to “investigate” before the next round in Portland.

“It was a really difficult day today. In Qualifying, I didn’t manage to put together a good lap, which meant I started the race in P16; a difficult position to fight from. At the beginning of the race, things didn’t look too bad – we were able to follow the cars in front while not consuming too much energy.

“We then had some overheating at the front of the car, impacting how fast and efficient we could continue to drive. This is something we will have to investigate. The potential was there, and now we need to analyse what went wrong. Next up is Portland, which I’m looking forward to.”