Michelin is parting ways with the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship following the 2021/22 season finale. With Hankook limbering up and ready to take over next year, the French tyre maker has looked back on its eight years with the championship, convinced that its work has “made a concrete contribution to the success enjoyed by Formula E today.”
Michelin has partnered with Stratford-upon-Avon deluxe coffee house and motoring destination Caffeine&Machine on the venues first ever dedicated electric vehicle weekend (25-26 September, 2021). The event will focus on electric vehicles and will welcome visitors who want to view the next wave of automotive innovation, regardless of their current motors.
The first Michelin tyre engineered to meet the specific handling and range requirements of electric sports cars will come to market from 1 April. Announcing the imminent launch of the Pilot Sport EV, Michelin shares that the tyre excels in a number of areas of key importance to drivers of electric performance vehicles – notably grip on wet and dry roads, resistance to wear, low rolling resistance and reduced noise.
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.