Formula E to race on Michelin tyres for three further years
Michelin says it will continue as sole tyre supplier to the FIA Formula E Championship for an additional three seasons. The World Motor Sport Council confirmed Michelin supply for season 3 (2016-2017), 4 (2017-2018) and 5 (2018-2019), subject to the finalisation of the corresponding agreements. The tyre maker has served as a technical partner to Formula E since the championship’s creation.
“We are delighted to have been selected by the FIA once again and to be able to continue our involvement in this competition which Michelin helped to found,” says Pascal Couasnon, director of Michelin Motorsport. “Formula E is a superb laboratory to foster innovation in the field of durable mobility in cities and built-up areas and Michelin is actively exploiting this golden opportunity. Indeed, the tyre we designed for Formula E – the Michelin Pilot Sport EV – is revolutionary in the world of motor racing and has been acclaimed by all the championship’s drivers and teams.”
Michelin believes the Pilot Sport EV stands out from conventional racing tyres in at least three ways. It is the first single-seater car to compete on 18-inch tyres, and this is a size Michelin favours for aesthetic reasons and for the ease of development transfer it facilitates. The Pilot Sport EV also boasts a patterned tread that ensures competitive performance in both dry and wet conditions alike. Last but by no means least – and perhaps a dig at rival F1 tyre supply tender rival Pirelli – Michelin points out that Formula E drivers only need a single set to cover race-day practice and the race itself.
The Pilot Sport EV owes its qualities to the Michelin Total Performance strategy which prevailed during its design. “This approach allows tyres to pack a broad spectrum of performance-related parameters without having to make any compromises,” comments Michelin. To achieve this result, Michelin Motorsport’s engineers work on all the elements that make up tyres at the same time – their casing, the materials they employ and their profile.
“The FIA stipulated this ability to perform just as well on a wet surface as a dry one in the tender brief,” notes Serge Grisin, manager of Michelin’s Formula E programme. “What started out as an innovative feature of the Michelin Pilot Sport EV tyre has gone on to become a prerequisite demanded by the sport’s ruling body. This is a further sign of Michelin’s pioneering spirit.”
The FIA originally planned to announce the winning bidder for F1 tyre supply in 2017 and beyond, however no word on a decision has been given so far.