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Photo of Jake Hughes in his orange McLaren Formula E car. The photo is taken from above, with motion blur surrounding the car. His blue helmet is visible inside the car.

Hughes earns maiden pole position in Saudi

Jake Hughes takes pole position on the third time of asking after beating Mitch Evans in the final. 

Hughes, who has started the previous two races from the front two rows of the grid, takes his maiden Formula E pole position in Diriyah. 

Earlier championship leaders Jake Dennis and Pascal Wehrlein start sixth and fifth respectively. 

Group Stages

It was a relatively clean qualifying for both groups, with only a handful of drivers taking to the escape road during the group stages. 

Nick Cassidy set the pace early in Group A, but was soon knocked off the top sot by Jake Dennis. 

Hughes, Ticktum and Sam Bird all took turns at the top of the order before a late flurry of flying laps after the chequered flag. 

The top spot changed hands three times after the chequered flag fell, with Stoffel Vandoorn, Sebastien Buemi and finally Hughes taking P1 with a time of 1m09.361s. All three and Dennis would progress to the duels. 

Hughes’ fastest lap wouldn’t be beaten in Group B, where Mitch Evans ended the session top. 

The Jaguar Racing driver topped the order early on and gradually lowered his time. A final flying lap to take the chequered flag put him 0.034s ahead of Rene Rast in second. 

Pascal Wehrlein and Edoardo Mortara also progressed to the duels.  

Maximillian Guenther missed out on a spot in the top four by just 0.02s, but the performance proved a significant improvement for the Maserati team, who worked hard overnight to get both cars ready for the second race of the weekend. 


Hughes’ journey to the Finals started with a head to head against championship leader Jake Dennis. The McLaren Racing driver set the fastest time of the quarter final stages with a lap around the Diriyah circuit in just 1m08.748s.  

The Nissan powered McLaren had even more pace, though. When head-to-head with Friday pole sitter Sebastien Buemi, Hughes managed a time of 1m08.680s, a lap which would remain the fastest time of the day. 

Evans faced Edoardo Mortara in the quarter finals and also broke the 1m09s barrier. He too found improvements in his semi-final run, against Rene Rast, and managed a time of 1m08.690s. 

Hughes and Evans were separated by only a fraction of a tenth of a second throughout their final laps, but a stunning final sector for the McLaren driver put him 0.104s ahead at the chequered flag. 

Evans will start the third race of the second from second, ahead of Rast and Buemi. 

Wehrlein, who was beaten by Rast in the quarter finals, will start fifth ahead of Dennis, Mortara and Vandoorne.  

Sam Bird and Maximillian Guenther complete the top 10. 

Bethonie Waring

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