Formula E 2014/2015 - The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV outsmarts the Berlin concrete!
Round 8 of the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship took place to the atypical backdrop of Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport where the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV lived up every bit to its reputation.
While the venue was particularly appreciated by spectators and the teams, the track itself turned out to be one of the most delicate of the season for tires. Due to the relative lack of traffic, the twisty 17-turn, 2.47km course was dusty and dirty early in the day, not to mention the abrasive nature of its concrete slabs. At the same time, its width allowed the drivers to run three abreast in places and also led to repeated heavy braking and hard acceleration. Combined, these ingredients stood out as a big challenge for the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire which features a grooved tread pattern.
“The track evolved as the day progressed,” reported Serge Grisin, manager of Michelin’s Formula E programme. “The conditions improved and, although we knew the surface would be tough on tires, we believed we would be able to contain the phenomenon of wear. And that’s exactly what happened. None of the drivers reported the slightest problem with their tires and we are delighted to have risen so successfully to what was a sizeable challenge. Not only is the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV competitive but it was also designed to be durable and today’s race provided further evidence of its extraordinary versatility.”
The first free practice session was dominated by Switzerland’s Sébastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault), while the second was topped by Brazilian Luca di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt). However, it was Italy’s Jarno Trulli (Trulli Racing) who caused the surprise in qualifying by securing his first pole position of the championship, ahead of di Grassi and Buemi. Germany’s best-placed representative Nick Heidfeld (Venturi) earned the other slot on the second row.
The start of the race itself saw Trulli go wide at Turn 2, which enabled di Grassi to take control and defend his lead until the chequered flag. After Buemi’s exploit in Monaco, the Brazilian is now the second driver to have notched up two wins since the start of the Formula E campaign.
In his wake, there was plenty of dicing and overtaking, but Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) prevailed to claim second place and his first Formula E podium, ahead of third-placed Buemi.