First race, first win for the MICHELIN Pilot Sport H4/S4 tire
Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala, at the wheel of a Volkswagen fitted with new MICHELIN Pilot Sport H4/S4 tires, won the WRC Rallye de France the 4-5 october weekend. The new tires have replaced the MICHELIN Pilot Sport H2/S2 on the cars of all Michelin partners, and are different from every angle, both technical and physical.
A new "tarmac" tire
Jacques Morelli, in charge of Michelin's FIA WRC program, explains why the French tire-maker introduced these new tires in Alsace: "Since 2011, FIA WRC regulations have made it compulsory to use only one type of tire, regardless of the weather conditions. They do, however, allow two versions, hard (H) and soft (S), but the only difference between them must be the rubber compound used for the tread. Michelin has therefore developed a new "tarmac" tire to obtain maximum safety on wet surfaces, even in high water."
Improving all aspects of tire performance together
"To achieve this result, we began by changing the tread pattern, which is now more siped and closer to that of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire for ultra-sports cars. At the same time we changed the tread pattern, we designed a new structure and used new materials. This is because it is impossible to change just one feature of the tire at a time, without taking the others into consideration. The risk is that an improvement in one aspect might be at the expense of other qualities. But because Michelin development teams work on the MICHELIN Total Performance principle, Michelin manages to improve every aspect of tire performance together, as we can see with the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport H4/S4 tires."