Formula E 2015/2016 - The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV performs in the sand of Punta Del Este

One of the key challenges facing Michelin at the third clash of the 2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship was to deliver performance and safety despite the permanent presence of sand on the temporary street circuit which runs along the seafront in Punta Del Este, Uruguay.


Situated 120km southeast of the country’s capital Montevideo, the Atlantic resort is extremely popular with tourists and the Playa Brava is a magnet for surfers and water sport fans who are drawn by its waves and maritime breeze which has a tendency to blow sand over the exposed 20-turn, 2.7km track.

An atypical venue in more ways than one

The unique circuit twists between high-end apartment blocks and the beach to provide a spectacular backdrop and a challenge for the drivers who praise its fast, technically-demanding layout, even though the guardrails are never far away. The electric single-seater cars reach speeds of almost 200kph in places and tyres need to be sufficiently versatile to cope with the wide variety of conditions that race day can bring.

“The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire was developed especially for these cars and we have already seen that they are capable of covering a broad spectrum of situations,” notes Serge Grisin, manager of MICHELIN Motorsport’s Formula E programme. “Over and above the different degrees of abrasiveness that the drivers found, the added difficulty in Punta Del Este was the sand which gets blown onto the asphalt, posing a potential problem in terms of grip. Thanks to its tread pattern, though, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire, which is competitive across a wide temperature range, is able to clear this sand to ensure maximum grip and safety. The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire was up to the challenge yet again this weekend in Uruguay.”

An entertaining day of action

The varying degrees of grip and the constantly changing track conditions made sure that the Punta Del Este ePrix was a surprise-packed day, not only during the race, but also in free practice and qualifying. The winner was Sébastien Buemi (Renault-e.dams), chased over the line by Lucas Di Grassi (Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport) and Jérôme D’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) and, like all the drivers, they were able to count on the high performance and versatility of their MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tires from start to finish.

Road tires already benefitting from the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire

Michelin uses all the forms of motorsport in which it is involved as laboratories to develop technologies of the future.

The French tire firm has already taken advantage of the data gathered during the inaugural Formula E Championship to fine-tune the development of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport 4 tire, for example. This new tire was presented at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The second season of Formula E will continue in the same ‘from track to street’ vein and the information collected about the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV’s tire performance, including its energy-efficiency, will continue to feed the Group’s Research and Development data bases.

The 2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship calendar

The Punta del Este ePrix was the last Formula E race of 2015 but the championship doesn’t finish until July 2016. Like the inaugural season, the 2015/2016 calendar features 11 rounds at 10 venues, with two races to conclude the campaign in London.

After touring the Americas, action will return to Europe with the Paris ePrix (which replaces Monaco this time round) in April.

  • October 24, 2015: Beijing (China)*
  • November 7, 2015: Putrajaya (Malaysia)*
  • December 19, 2015: Punta Del Este (Uruguay)*
  • February 6, 2016: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • March 12, 2016: Mexico City (Mexico)
  • April 2, 2016: Long Beach (USA)
  • April 23, 2016: Paris (France)
  • May 21, 2016: Berlin (Germany)
  • June 4, 2016: Moscow (Russia)
  • July 2-3: London (United Kingdom)