Formula E 2016/2017 - Formula E 2016/2017 - Home glory for the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 tire
The second running of the Paris Formula E ePrix took place in a festive atmosphere after the 7,000 grandstand seats sold out within 24 hours of going on sale, while more than 10,000 people explored the e-Village which was entirely free this year. A number of ‘fan zones’ located around the circuit enabled racing fans and casual visitors alike to enjoy a variety of entertainment and follow the action on giant screens.
Seen mixing it with the public was the Michelin Man who is always a popular hit at events, while out on the track the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 Formula E tire – which was introduced at the start of the 2016/2017 championship – was making its debut appearance in the streets of the French capital.
With the exception of the pit lane exit, which was slightly modified compared with 2016, the circuit was identical to the 1.920km layout (14 turns: 6 left / 8 right) used last season. And once again, it proved particularly popular with both the drivers and the local spectators, most of whom would probably never have imagined that their city would one day host a major motor race in the heart of the Hôtel des Invalides district!
The feedback we have had from our partners about the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 tire since the start of the 2016/2017 campaign has been positive. We were very confident before the start of today’s ePrix, but the fact that it was our home race added to the pressure. That said, it also added to the pride we felt when we saw how well our new tire performed. Although the circuit concocted for the Paris ePrix is technically fairly straightforward, the back straight is extremely bumpy and some of the turns are quite tight. Our tires consequently needed to reach their working temperature quickly and also play a part in the cars’ damping in order to provide the biggest contact patch possible and thereby deliver competitive grip from start to finish.
In 2016, the weather was far from ideal for France’s Formula E fixture but the conditions were much clearer this time round. That said, the thermometer struggled to exceed 17°C, while the track temperature reached no higher than 25°C. Michelin’s second-generation Formula E tire gets up to its working temperature more quickly than the original Pilot Sport EV, however, and the teams were able to benefit from globally superior, safe performance.
Qualifying for the 2017 Paris ePrix was topped by Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams), six-thousands of a second clear of Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah) who is a native of the Paris region. Buemi went on to enjoy a trouble-free race and led from lights-out to the chequered flag, helped by perfect management of the two safety car interventions in association with his team Renault e.dams.
After spending 34 laps as Buemi’s most pressing chaser, Vergne was side-lined while running less than two seconds short of the lead. Second place was consequently snapped up by Argentina’s José-Maria Lopez (DS Virgin Racing) who collected his maiden Formula E podium finish. Nick Heidfeld (Mahindra Racing) was third.
The next round of the 2016/2017 FIA Formula E Championship will take teams to Berlin, Germany, where two races are scheduled to be held on June 10 and June 11.