Formula 3 star Jake Hughes will act as reserve driver for Venturi Racing in Formula E this year.
The 26-year-old Briton is not new to FE, having been a test and simulator driver for Mercedes-Benz last season, when he was racing for the manufacturer’s former DTM and FE partner HWA Racelab in the FIA F3 Championship.
HWA promoted Hughes to its Formula 2 line-up for last year’s Sochi round, but he has not secured a full-time step up to the category with the team for 2021.
”I’m incredibly excited to join Venturi Racing as the team’s reserve driver,” said Hughes.
“I want to say a big thank you to Susie [Wolff] and the team for trusting me with this opportunity. I’ve driven Formula E cars in the past, most recently with Mercedes, so I feel ready to do my job.”
Hughes has spent the past five years racing at the F3 level, winning races in Asia and Europe in continental series. He declared last September that he would be moving on from it for 2021.
“I’m looking forward to supporting Edo [Mortara] and Norman [Nato] this season and I’m excited to help the team make the car as fast as possible while, of course, learning on the way.
“FE is an incredibly exciting championship, and it feels fantastic to be back at a race track.”
The delayed 2020-21 FE season will be the first one run as a FIA world championship, and Venturi will compete with a customer powertrain supply from Mercedes.
Venturi’s team principal Susie Wolff added: ”The role of the reserve driver is crucial in FE especially during these challenging times with the global pandemic.
“Jake has done more than prove his talent and natural ability on the junior single-seater ladder and we’re delighted to welcome him to Venturi Racing.”
Also joining the roster of FE reserve drivers is 2019 Super Formula Lights champion Sacha Fenestraz at Jaguar.
The Franco-Argentinian is set to contest his sophomore season in Super Formula this year with Kondo Racing, but travel restrictions could lead to that campaign being cancelled for him.
FE’s opening two rounds take place this weekend, under spotlights during the night, in the Saudi Arabian city of Riyadh.