Formula E 2014/2015: High performance from the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire in the streets of Monaco
The inaugural Monaco saw victory go to pole-winner Sébastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault) who, along with his rivals, provided the 18,000 spectators in the Principality with a highly entertaining show.
The only man who succeeded in putting any pressure on the Swiss driver was Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi. The Brazilian ended up in second place after opting to change his strategy to keep him safe from the assaults of compatriot Nelson Piquet Jr (NEXTEV TCR) who collected third place.
Formula E’s visit to Monaco was a highly symbolic occasion. Like the first grand prix to be hosted by the Principality, back on April 14, 1929, it represented a landmark date for motor racing fans. It also served to showcase the exceptional performance of the 18-inch MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire developed specially for the championship’s high-tech, electrically-powered single-seater cars.
Over the years, Michelin has reaped a high number of successes in the Principality, from the World Rally Championship’s Rallye Monte-Carlo to the more recent alternative energy events and, today, the FIA’s all-electric Formula E series.
Michelin uses motorsport as a laboratory to develop innovative new technologies. At the same time, it works with a long list of prestigious partners to develop tailor-engineered tire solutions for their ultra-high-performance road cars, such as the Ferrari 458 Speciale, Porsche 918 Spyder, Mercedes AMG SLS Black Series and Chevrolet Corvette C7 which are all fitted as original equipment with specially tailored MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that meet the specific characteristics of each model.
The focus on technology transfer
The new FIA Formula E Championship is a perfect example of how racing can be used as a laboratory for new technologies which are capable of combining the high performance and energy efficiency for the French firm’s latest generation tires. “Since the start of the season, Formula E has allowed us to confirm the performance potential and all-round capability of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire in a wide variety of conditions. The hazards we have encountered at the street circuits visited so far by the championship range from thick painted road markings and tram rails to different types of surface, including concrete, but our tires have consistently delivered a blend of safety, performance and longevity,” underlines Michelin Motorsport Director Pascal Couasnon.
Here at Monaco, where the drivers found abrasive asphalt on very sinuous track, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire showed once again all its longevity, keeping the level of performance high, lap after lap.
The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire, which was designed especially for the Formula E Championship, has a number of special features:
- Size: the interior diameter of 18 inches is comparable with that used by many road cars and this promises to facilitate and speed up the carry-over of technology from the race track to the street. Formula E is the first FIA-sanctioned single-seater racing series to use tires of this size.
- Tread: like a road-going sports tire, and even though it was designed for racing, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire features a tread pattern that allows it to race in all weather conditions.
- Longevity: the cars are only authorised to use a single set of tires for free practice, qualifying and the race itself. Permitted spares are carried over from the previous race to minimise the number of tires that need to be made and shipped.
The next round of the 2014/2015 Formula E Championship will take teams to Berlin, Germany, on May 23.