Formula E Lineup: McLaren confirm the final seat for Seaon 9

Jake Hughes - McLaren - Formula E

After months of speculation, McLaren have confirmed that F2 driver Jake Hughes will partner with Rene Rast for the 2023 season.

The 22nd and final seat for Season 9 of Formula E has been confirmed. McLaren announced that rookie Jake Hughes is joining the team as they embark on their debut season of the all-electric World Championship series. The team will be one of the key stories to watch through 2023. An iconic racing brand joining the team, taking over from back-to-back champions Mercedes-EQ, with a returning veteran (Rene Rast) and a new rookie as their lineup. All of that is on top of the brand-new Gen3 car.

While Season 9 will be Hughes’ debut in Formula E, he has served as a Test/Reserve Driver for the Mercedes-EQ and ROKiT Venturi teams for the past two years. That familiarity with former Mercedes boss, now McLaren Managing Director, Ian James, surely played a pivotal role in Hughes’ jump over from Formula 2.

Up the ladder from Formula Renault

On his announcement of joining McLaren, Jake Hughes stated,

“First and foremost, I’m very proud and feel very privileged to become part of the McLaren Racing family, being given the chance to represent such a prestigious brand. Growing up, McLaren was one of the teams that inspired me to start racing. To now go full circle, representing the team myself in Formula E feels incredible. I’ve obviously been with the Formula E team in a different guise before and we have already achieved great results. It’s good to have that relationship and I know what’s expected of me. Coming in at a time where a new generation car is introduced in the series excites me. It feels like a good opportunity and chance, especially being a rookie in Season 9. It’s set to be a great year and I can’t wait to kick off the journey ahead!”

Hughes started his single-seater career in 2012 making his debut in two Formula Renault series. He won the BRDC Formula 4 Championship in 2013 and made his way up to Formula 3/GP3 by 2016. There Hughes would drive four straight years in the third tier of the Formula ladder, finishing either 7th or 8th in the Championship each year. After making short appearances for HWA Racelab in Formula 2 during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Hughes made his full F2 debut with Van Amersfoort Racing for the 2022 season. He had five finishes in the points before opting to withdraw from the season halfway through to ‘focus on his future plans’. News immediately circulated that Hughes was talking with multiple Formula E teams for a seat on the Season 9 grid.

Current Formula E Driver Lineup – Season 9

  • ABT: Robin Frijns & Nico Muller
  • Avalanche Andretti: Jake Dennis & Andre Lotterer
  • DS Penske: Stoffel Vandoorne & Jean-Éric Vergne
  • Envision: Nick Cassidy & Sebastien Buemi
  • Jaguar: Mitch Evans & Sam Bird
  • McLaren: Rene Rast & Jake Hughes
  • Mahindra: Oliver Rowland & Lucas di Grassi
  • Maserati: Edoardo Mortara & Maximilian Guenther
  • NIO 333: Sergio Sette Camara & Dan Ticktum
  • Nissan: Norman Nato & Sacha Fenestraz
  • Porsche: Pascal Wehrlein & Antonio Felix da Costa

With Techeetah’s confirmed exit ahead of Season 9 the 2023 grid is now set. However, Techeetah remains committed to regrouping and returning to Formula E in 2024. Pre-season testing kicks off later this month on December 13th with the opening round in Mexico City coming up on January 14th.

Featured Image Credit: Formula E