Michelin motorsport director Matthieu Bonardel has given his reaction to the announcement of a changing of the guard in the world’s premier battery-powered single-seater racing series. Despite Hankook’s move to replace Michelin as Formula E tyre supplier after the 2021/2022 season, the French manufacturer continues to believe that “sporting competition and sustainable mobility are inextricably linked.” Michelin was the tyre inaugural supplier to Formula E, which began in 2014/15, and has actively shaped the series as exclusive tyre partner ever since.
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.
Michelin’s Pilot Sport EV has helped Formula E to overcome difficult weather conditions in Putrajaya, Malaysia, despite temperatures in excess of 30°C, a track temperature of almost 50°C and humidity levels of between 60 and 90 per cent. Round 2 of the 2015/2016 Formula E ePrix featured the same format as 2014, with a 12-turn, 2.5km track and the start brought forward by two hours to 2:04pm local time in order to minimise the threat of wet weather. Torrential rain swept over the city an hour after the chequered flag was shown. The hot, damp conditions made the day hard not only for the drivers, but also for the battery of their all-electric single-seater racing cars.
Formula E’s eighth round was staged over the weekend at Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport; an unusual backdrop for a track described by tyre supplier Michelin as one of the most delicate of the season for tyres. The twisty 17-turn, 2.47km course was dusty and dirty early in the day due to the relative lack of traffic, while its concrete slabs were particularly abrasive. The circuit’s width also allowed drivers to run three abreast in places, meaning heavy braking and hard acceleration were a feature of the event. These conditions present an obvious challenge for tyres to which Michelin’s grooved Pilot Sport EV rose.