Michelin: over a century of racing
World Endurance Championships, Rallies, MotoGP™, FIA Formula E Championships... As our different motorsport contracts are being extended, it’s time to take a look back at the Michelin Group’s commitment to racing...
An entire history
Competition has been embedded in MICHELIN's DNA since 1891, only two years after the company was founded. That year, the factory in Clermont joined the greatest cycle race every organized: Paris-Brest-Paris, covering 745 miles (in 1891). After 71 hours and 18 minutes of cycling, finishing 9 hours ahead of the next cyclist, Charles Terront had clearly demonstrated the advantages of MICHELIN’s removable bike tire.
An integral part of the Michelin saga from the very beginning, racing is a privileged environment for testing our technical solutions. This is how for over 100 years Michelin has developed the most winning technologies on the world’s race tracks. A prestigious heritage, expressing a passion shared by everyone in the company.
An open-air lab
Michelin is particularly present in competitions with a focus on tomorrow’s mobility, for instance the FIA Formula E Championship or the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Complementing the Ladoux Technology Center in France, the competition is seen as another MICHELIN laboratory. It is a forum for testing and developing new tire solutions in extreme conditions, helping imagine the tires that will be on tomorrow’s vehicles.
An unrivaled track record
MICHELIN is the manufacturer with the most world titles in FIA and FIM championships (FIA - International Automobile Federation; FIM - International Motorcycling Federation). With:
- Over 390 “Driver” wins and 28 “Driver” titles in MotoGP™
- 26 victoires aux 24 Heures du Mans (la première en 1923 pour la première édition)
- 25 driver titles and 27 manufacturer titles in the World Rally Championship (WRC)
- 102 wins and 9 titles in Formula 1
- 12 titles in the World Superbike Championship
- 15 titles in the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC)
- 34 wins in the motorbike category and 19 wins in the car category in the Dakar Rally
"Our commitment to motorsport is a key element in Michelin’s strategy"
Michelin Competition Division Director
Why such a commitment to motorsport?
Our serious commitment to motorsport is an important element in the Group’s strategy, both technically and commercially. That’s why, our MotoGP™, 24h Le Mans and World Endurance Championship partnerships have been extended to 2021. Today in competitions, we are developing solutions for better future mobility: racing today for tomorrow’s mobility! The renewal of our contract for two further seasons with the FIA Formula E Championship, until 2023, or the fact that Michelin will be the first official tire supplier for the FIM Moto-e World Cup with 100% electric motorbikes to be launched in 2019, are perfect illustrations of this fact.
Can you explain why our partnerships have been extended with FIA Formula E until 2021 and beyond?
We are pioneers in tire energy efficiency and responsible racing. The FIA Formula E Championship is particularly interesting for Michelin because of the use of new 100% electric engines and because the racing takes place on city-center street circuits with the introduction for the first time of single-seater vehicles fitted with 18-inch tires. So many technical challenges!
Rallies, Endurance, MotoGP™… Why are you involved in these different competitions?
We chose to work with the World Endurance Championships, Rallies, MotoGP™ in FIA Formula E and Super GT in Japan to cover a very broad spectrum of technical challenges and emotions to share with our customers. These contract renewals show the ability of Michelin motorsport teams to provide winning performances, ensuring safety, entertainment and suspense as most of the drivers can win on our tires!