Formula E: the Championship starts again
Innovative, spectacular and causing no atmospheric or noise pollution … in just two seasons Formula E has conquered its audience. The Championship starts again on 9th October in Hong Kong, still with the same ambition: ever more performance and technological progress.
Three questions to Pascal Couasnon, MICHELIN Motorsport Director:
What is your analysis of how the 2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship went?
First of all, I would like to congratulate Sébastien Buemi and our partner RENAULT e.dams on their respective titles and on their overall performance during an extremely exciting season. The first two years of the FIA Formula E Championship have showcased the quality and relevance of the work carried out by the MICHELIN MOTORSPORT teams. That confirms that our tires are capable of delivering consistently high performance, irrespective of wear-rates, air temperatures or wet weather. After the exceptional performance shown by our Formula E tire during the inaugural season, the FIA asked us to keep the same specification until the end of Season Two which concluded in London last July. This gave the teams a stable base for the big changes they introduced to their cars ahead of the 2015/2016 championship. However, it did not prevent us from carrying out development work at the same time in readiness for Season Three. As a result, for the first race of 2016/2017 in the streets of Hong Kong on October 9, 2016, we will have a brand new tire which was developed in close cooperation with all the teams involved in the championship.
What are the specific strengths of the new Michelin Pilot Sport EV2?
When the FIA Formula E Championship was created, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV revolutionized the question of tires in motor racing. The package of its patterned tread, interior diameter of 18 inches and longevity was a first for a world class single-seater series. We have since worked hard to prepare for the competition’s third season which marks a further step forward, and take not just one but two steps forward. MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 delivers the same high performance as the original tire yet its energy efficiency has been improved significantly. Thanks to the employment of new technologies, the new tire is not only lighter but its rolling resistance has also been lowered. The Season Three-generation of cars will consequently benefit from extended range and no doubt enhanced performance. Formula E is a discipline where success is dependent on the drivers’ ability to regenerate and store energy in the cars’ batteries, so this is a crucial factor! During the pre-season tests at Donington, England, this summer, the drivers were swift to praise the performance of our second-generation tire. The reigning champion Sébastien Buemi went as far as to say that its increased efficiency will contribute to the show put on for the spectators!
How important is the FIA Formula E Championship for the Michelin group?
The spirit behind the FIA Formula E Championship fits perfectly with that of Michelin, since the idea is to achieve more while consuming less energy and fewer materials. The new Michelin Pilot Sport EV2 pushes out the limits even further in terms of rolling resistance. We are proud to have prolonged our involvement in this forward-looking series until the end of the 2018/2019 season. And we are also proud to allow the public to benefit from innovations that were put through their paces in the FIA Formula E Championship, thanks to our new MICHELIN Pilot Sport 4!