Formula-E 2015/2016 - The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire bows out in style after changeable weather in London
The 2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship concluded in Battersea Park, London, with two ePrix wins for Nicolas Prost. A dramatic finale saw the Drivers’ crown end up on the head of the Frenchman’s RENAULT e.dams team-mate Sébastien Buemi who finished two points clear of di Grassi (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport). Prost secured the bronze medal. The squad run by Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot rounded out its successful campaign by securing the second season’s Teams’ title, ahead of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport and DS Virgin Racing.
The London races took place in chilly weather for the time of year (between 10 and 15°C in the morning) with the occasional, sometimes heavy shower, yet the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire overcame these unseasonal conditions to provide one last glimpse of its qualities and perfect versatility.
At 2.922km, the 17-turn British track was one of the longest of the 2015/2016 season and featured several long straights interrupted by chicanes which called for some particularly heavy braking. Also, the cars ran the highest ride heights of the championship in order to cater for Battersea Park’s cambered lanes. Meanwhile, Michelin’s Formula E tire, which was designed for dry and wet conditions and the unique variety of challenges posed by the calendar’s street circuits, played a key role yet again.
On Saturday, Q3 and Q4 of the weekend’s first qualifying session were marked by brief yet heavy showers, providing the later drivers with a chance to sample the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire is credentials on a damp track.
The weather proved kinder for the rest of the meeting and competitors were even able to benefit from some sunny intervals. The drier track led to some lightning quick lap times as the French tires took the occasionally very late braking in their stride. Reasonably low wear-rates provided further evidence of the fact that a single set of tires per car per race day is amply sufficient.
The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire has revolutionised the role played by tires in motor racing. Its patterned tread, interior diameter of 18 inches and longevity are all firsts in world class single-seater racing and the two Formula E championships that have already taken place have showcased the quality and relevance of the work produced by the teams at MICHELIN MOTORSPORT. The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire will now hand over to its successor with which the majority of the teams have already been working since mid-June to prepare their cars for the 2016/2017 series which will feature our latest tire – the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 tire. It was designed to deliver the same outstanding performance and versatility as the original but is noticeably more energy efficient. We have effectively succeeded in shaving a considerable amount of weight off the new tire while achieving significantly lower rolling resistance in keeping with the aim of the Formula E championship which is to achieve more with less energy.
I would like to congratulate Sébastien Buemi and our partner RENAULT e.dams on their titles and on their performance all-season long. I am pleased to see that the fastest race laps were posted at the end of the races. That’s a sign that our tires deliver consistently high performance, whatever the wear rate, temperature or weather conditions. We are already working very closely with all the teams to prepare for Formula E’s Season 3 which will mark a further step in the quest for energy efficiency and sustainable mobility. We are proud to have extended our involvement in this forward-looking championship until at least the 2018/2019 series. The new MICHELIN Pilot Sport 4 tire is an example of how the motoring public is already benefiting from technologies signed off in the FIA Formula E Championship.