The Michelin Pilot Sport EV will continue to parallel road car dimensions and tread pattern trends in its second Formula E edition
For the third season of Formula E, Michelin – the series’ tyre partner since its September 2014 inception – will provide a second generation of the Pilot Sport EV tyre. Like the original Pilot Sport EV, whose specifications were inspired by similarities with road tyres, Michelin will see the new version as an opportunity to develop technologies applicable to its consumer product range.
The original Pilot Sport EV, with an interior diameter of 18 inches marked a first at this level of competition, ensuring its resemblance to mass-produced road tyres. It also featured a patterned tread; long tyre life; dry and wet track versatility (which Michelin says is a world first for a top single-seater racing car); and did not need to be replaced in the course of a single ePrix meeting, in which each car is allocated just one set of rubber to cover free practice, qualifying and the race itself. The regulations’ only concession is the allowance of one spare per car, and even this tyre is carried over from the previous race. Not only does this considerably reduce the championship’s environmental impact but it is also in line with the sustainable mobility message championed by both Michelin and Formula E.
Michelin Motorsport’s engineers had already started to develop the existing Michelin Pilot Sport EV for the second FIA Formula E Championship when the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) asked the French firm to continue with the same-spec tyre for Season 2. This measure allowed the teams to develop their new cars to meet the new, less restrictive technical regulations (motors, transmissions and rear suspension pick-up points) with a known tyre.
Michelin’s development work continued through Formula E’s second season, which the tyre supplier says has led to “two steps forward” for the Pilot Sport EV2, with an emphasis on improving energy efficiency. This is a major consideration in Formula E, where success is founded on the drivers’ ability to optimise the energy they have available.
“Our work focused on improving energy efficiency, even though the original Michelin Pilot Sport EV excelled in this domain,” notes Serge Grisin, manager of Michelin’s Formula E programme. “Thanks to the use of new technologies, we have succeeded in reducing rolling resistance while at the same time lowering the weight of each Michelin Pilot Sport EV. The combination of these gains will mean greater autonomy for the cars and, no doubt, enhanced performance for the third Formula E championship. As required by the FIA regulations, we provided all the constructors registered for Season 3 with the latest Michelin Pilot Sport EV at the beginning of May. As a function of their respective test schedules, they will therefore able to familiarise themselves with it as they develop their cars for 2016/2017.”
The latest-generation Pilot Sport EV will compete for the first time in October.