Formula-E 2016/2017 - The latest MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 tires successfully passes pre-season litmus test
With the third FIA Formula E Championship due to kick off in the streets of Hong Kong on October 9, teams gathered at Donington, England, at the end of August and early September for two three-day tests. These sessions allowed them to fine-tine the set-ups of their respective cars and familiarise themselves with the new, second-generation MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tire.
Following a request by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), the specification of the tire which featured in the second Formula E Championship campaign (2015/2016) was unchanged compared with the inaugural season on the grounds that its performance had surpassed initial expectations. A stable base was also preferred because the second year’s cars were due to undergo significant evolutions to their motors, transmissions and rear suspension pick-up points.
For Season 3, however, the Michelin Pilot Sport EV tire – which was the first 18-inch tire for a single-seater racing car at the time of its launch, and which is the only racing tire capable of competing in dry and wet conditions – has evolved in two main areas.
The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 tire has revolutionised the role played by tires in motor racing. The first two Formula E championships confirmed the value of the initial work put in by MICHELIN MOTORSPORT. The new second-generation Pilot Sport EV pushes out the envelope even further in terms of low rolling resistance, a phenomenon that accounts for 25 percent of the energy consumed by any vehicle. It is also lighter for the same level of performance and grip as last season.
Said the 2015/2016 Formula E champion on completion of the recent pre-season tests:
We didn’t get many opportunities to lap with the new tire during the break between the two seasons so we all had to familiarise ourselves with it quite quickly. It gets up to temperature more quickly and that’s sure to be good for the show!
The performance of the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 tire is similar to that of the former tire but its characteristics are different. It has good potential, especially with regard to lateral and longitudinal grip.
Michelin has worked well. Last season’s tire was good, but this one is different. It delivers a better-balanced package with more grip, and that’s perfect for street circuits.
After the last day of pre-championship testing on September 7, the cars were crated in readiness for their trip to Asia for the opening round of the new season. For information, with the cars running with the same power outputs as last year, the fastest lap established at Donington in 2015 by Lucas Di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler, 1m29.920s) was bettered by several drivers this summer. The new benchmark was posted by Sébastien Buemi (1m28.910s) who was more than a second faster.
The 2016/2017 FIA Formula E Championship calendar
Five new venues appear on the third season’s calendar, namely Hong Kong, Marrakech, Brussels, Montreal and New York. Two host cities have yet to be named for the races scheduled for April 22 and June 24.
- October 9, 2016: Hong Kong (China)
- November 12, 2016: Marrakech (Morocco)
- February 18, 2017: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
- April 1, 2017: Mexico City (Mexico)
- April 22, 2017: tbc
- May 13, 2017: Monaco
- May 20, 2017: Paris (France)
- June 10, 2017: Berlin (Germany)
- June 24, 2017: tbc
- July 1: Brussels (Belgium)
- July 15/16, 2017: Montreal (Canada)
- July 29/30, 2017: New York (USA)