The abrasive track surface at the former Tempelhof Airport makes the Berlin E-Prix the most challenging round of the Formula E campaign as far as tyres are concerned. Michelin’s engineers consequently expected to see higher wear-rates in Germany than they do at the championship’s other venues but, in the end, the 22 drivers were swift to praise the resilience and consistency of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport. And, once again, not a single tyre-related incident was reported over the two days, despite the fact that only two sets of tyres are allocated to each car per meeting!
Instead of the familiar one-day format that has become the norm for rounds of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the Berlin E-Prix’s programme featured two free-practice sessions on Friday, followed by Qualifying early on Saturday and the start of the race itself at 1pm local time. This revised timetable was adopted in order to avoid conflicting with the German Football Cup Final – also on Saturday – and resulted in the drivers jousting for pole position in the early-morning’s cooler conditions, with no prior running ahead of the session. Thankfully, they were able to count on the fast warm-up properties of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport which has carved out a reputation for delivering topflight performance time after time across a wide spectrum of conditions.
Friday’s Free Practice 1 saw DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne beat the existing lap record for the circuit just 20 minutes into the session, and the previous benchmark – posted in June 2018 – went on to be bettered by 20 of the 22 drivers. The fastest lap of the weekend was eventually clocked by André Lotterer who shaved more than two seconds off last year’s best effort, aided not only by the extra power provided by the latest Gen2 cars but also by their new MICHELIN Pilot Sport tyres.