"I kept reminding myself when I was sitting at the end of the pit lane that this is Formula E: I can't leave anything on the track," said Hughes. "So when I was coming in to Turn 18, almost every time seeing on my delta that I was up, I thought I couldn't rest now because I'll kick myself if I left a tenth on the table. So it was full push."
That fantastic effort gave McLaren their first Formula E pole after the papaya squad took over from the Mercedes-EQ team for GEN3. Despite only having three qualifying results under his belt in the all-electric championship, the 28-year-old has managed to line up on the grid in third (Mexico City), second (race one at the Diriyah E-Prix), and now first after today's efforts.
If the McLaren rookie can convert his maiden pole into his first victory, it'll be the quickest a rookie's ever won an E-Prix, quicker even than Avalanche Andretti's Jake Dennis managed back in Season 7. The current championship leader won a race on his sixth Formula E start, and before him, Felix Rosenqvist won on his seventh try back in 2017 with Mahindra Racing.
"I'm confident," Hughes continued when discussing the potential for the race ahead. "We're starting on the clean side of the grid, at least. I think we learned some good lessons yesterday.
"The Porsches and the Jaguars were pretty quick, in general, for the whole race yesterday. So we have to pick our battles. Hopefully, what we've learned, we can put into practice and execute a bit better."
Ian James, Team Principal at McLaren, was also understandably full of praise for his drivers, with Rene Rast also making it through to the Duels and will start on the second row of the grid in third.
"What a stunning drive from both drivers, but especially with Jake now on pole. First one for the NEOM McLaren Formula E team. This is just phenomenal. His consistency has been outstanding."