This is the first urban open-wheeler competition in the world, and MICHELIN has been a partner since the beginning. The 2018–19 season will kick off with a new race format and new destinations as 11 teams and 22 open-wheelers gear up to hit the starting line. Here is a look at the key innovations of this thrilling fifth season!
Gen2 Formula E: new sleek and autonomous open-wheelers
The futuristic Batmobile-style design of the new Formula E cars was revealed this spring at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. These Gen2 cars are equipped with a halo protection system, just like today’s Formula 1 cars.
The new fully electric open-wheelers also feature double energy storage capacity so drivers can finish an entire race without having to switch cars halfway through.
The Gen2s deliver 250 kW of power to go from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds and can achieve a maximum speed of 174 mph! Spectators can expect to see some truly sensational racing!
The new MICHELIN Pilot Sport tire: lighter and more efficient
The Group has also developed a new Michelin Pilot Sport tire for these electric cars. We worked on the structure and resistance to rolling to enhance efficiency while guaranteeing optimum performance and driver safety.
The new MICHELIN Pilot Sport pushes the limits of what a racing tire can do without sacrificing what sets it apart: a single 18” tire that can hold up through a whole day of racing, no matter the weather. This is a first for an open-wheeler in such an international championship. In developing this tire, our goals included:
Striving to drop weight
In motorsports, weight is the enemy – not just for performance but for the environment too! Less material means less weight to carry as well as less to recycle. Makes sense, right? Major efforts have been devoted to doing just this. Compared to its predecessor, the new Pilot Sport weights 4.4 lbs less at the front and 5.5 less at the back. In all, that is a total of 19.8 lbs per car – or nearly 20% of the total tire weight – shaved off!
Making a more efficient tire
Tires have genuine direct impact on a car’s autonomy. MICHELIN worked long and hard on the structure and resistance to rolling to gain in energy efficiency. This season, the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport tire will give the Formula E open-wheelers more autonomy while ensuring dynamic performances and driver safety.
Creating tires that are similar to standard tires
With its 18” size, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport tire has a sculpted tread that is very similar to that found on standard tires. The special sidewalls are the only sign that it is actually a racing tire. Major technological innovations lie behind the tread material and structure.
Races judged by time, not number of laps
For the 2018–19 season, the Formula E races will no longer be judged by the number of laps but instead by time. Each race is 45 minutes long, plus one lap. The goal is to make the race more dynamic and exciting for drivers and spectators.
Season 5 will still take place in some of the same cities as always, but with a few new destinations added to the program. In all, there will be 13 races in 12 different cities around the globe.
After Saudi Arabia on December 15, 2018, which kicks off the competition in the Middle East, the drivers will head to Marrakesh, Mexico and Hong Kong.
The European races will be held in 2019, once again through the streets of Rome, Paris and Berlin. The legendary circuit of Monaco, which hosts the race every two years, will also be back on the schedule on May 11, 2019. The season will end in New York with a two-day event on July 13 and 14, 2019.
For the first time this season, drivers will enjoy extra power in addition to the traditional “FANBOOST”. For each race, fans can vote online for their favorite drivers, who then receive a 40 hp energy boost (the FANBOOST) to use during the race. Drivers can then activate this energy in the activation zone, visible to fans along the track and those watching from home.
When a driver enters this part of the track, he can get 225 kW of power instead of 200 kW for the rest of the race. Fans can see each car’s available power by watching the LED strip on the new halo, the driver head and helmet protection system required by both the FIA and F1. Fans can track their favorite driver or team’s strategies live as the lights indicate the different power levels and other race details.
|1||Diriyah (Riyadh)||Saudi Arabia||Saturday, December 15, 2018|
|2||Marrakesh||Morocco||Saturday, January 12, 2019|
|3||Santiago||Chile||Saturday, January 26, 2019|
|4||Mexico City||Mexico||Saturday, February 16, 2019|
|5||Hong Kong||China||Sunday, March 10, 2019|
|6||Sanya||China||Saturday, March 23, 2019|
|7||Rome||Italy||Saturday, April 13, 2019|
|8||Paris||France||Saturday, April 27, 2019|
|9||Monaco||Monaco||Saturday, May 11, 2019|
|10||Berlin||Germany||Saturday, May 25, 2019|
|11||Bern||Switzerland||Saturday, June 22, 2019|
|12||New York City||United States||Saturday, July 13, 2019|
|13||New York City||United States||Sunday, July 14, 2019|
A highly competitive line-up
A total of 11 teams and 22 open-wheelers will be lining up in 2018 and 2019: BMW, already the technical partner to Andretti, will become Team Constructor, joining the Audi, DS, Jaguar, NIO, Nissan and Venturi teams. The race’s first four world champions, Nelson Piquet Jr., Sébastien Buemi, Lucas Di Grassi and Jean-Éric Vergne will be back on the starting grid along with six new drivers: Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne and DTM champion Gary Paffett with the new HWA Racelab team, which is partnered with Mercedes; Max Günther, Formula 2 driver with Geox Dragon; the Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, who has 11 Formula 1 wins under his belt, will be driving for Venturi; Thai driver Alexander Albon will replace Nicolas Prost to drive for Nissan e.dams; and finally, Alexander Sims with BMW-Andretti. This highly competitive line-up promises a thrilling race to come!
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