WSR: Jaafar seizes championship lead with Monaco win

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Jazeman Jaafar claimed his first win of the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 season on Sunday by taming the streets of Monaco to catapult himself into the lead of the feeder championship.

As the leading event of the World Series by Renault package, Formula Renault 3.5 has launched the careers of many young drivers including Kevin Magnussen, Stoffel Vandoorne and Daniel Ricciardo.

Monaco is the only round of the season that does not comprise of two races, making victory all the more unique around the famed street circuit.

Starting from pole position, Jaafar managed to hold on to the lead despite coming under pressure from Oliver Rowland, only for the Briton to suffer a puncture after contact with Matthieu Vaxiviere and drop down the field.

The race had to be red flagged after a huge accident involving Bruno Bonifacio and Meindert van Buuren. Although both drivers were deemed to be okay after a check at the medical centre, the barrier took some time to repair.

Once the race restart, Jaafar managed to pull away from the chasing pack to claim his first win of the 2015 season and move into the lead of the championship.

“A win at Monaco is really special,” Jaafar said. “I’m still buzzing! We had a problem that blocked us for a long time in the pit lane before the race, but as has been the case all weekend, the team did an amazing job to fix it.

“I had a really low-profile start, it was very tight with Oliver, but I managed to stay in front. Then, I quickly pulled away from Dean and all the hard work has paid off.”

British driver Dean Stoneman managed to finish the race in second place in his first race around the streets of Monaco, whilst Tom Dillman completed the podium.

In spite of his puncture, Rowland managed to fight his way through the field to finish in sixth place, meaning that he remains within one point of the lead of the championship.

The World Series by Renault moves on to the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium next weekend for a full weekend of running.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.