Formula-E 2017/2018 - Mexico - 2 extra laps thanks to grip and longevity of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 tires
Round five of the 2017/2018 ABB FIA Formula E Championship at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was won by Daniel Abt (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler). The German was joined on the podium by Briton Oliver Turvey (NIO) and Swiss driver Sébastien Buemi (Renault-e.dams). As in 2017, the race was marked by hot weather, with the air and track temperatures standing at 27°C and 43°C respectively at lights out.
The surface was extremely dirty when the drivers took to the track for the first time for Saturday morning’s free practice session when their all-electric cars could be seen throwing up big plumes of dust. Another distinguishing factor of the Mexican circuit is that it sits at an altitude of more than 2,250 metres which means there is less drag and aerodynamic downforce due to the lower air density. As a result, there is more onus than usual on the tires to provide grip.
Although the Mexico City E-Prix visits a permanent circuit, the venue tends to be used very little and the Formula E race includes an infield loop through the local baseball stadium, so there are additional changes of surface, as well as varying levels of grip which add to the challenge faced by the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2s tires that equip all the cars. On top of that, the 18-turn 2.092-kilometre track was lapped 47 times during this year’s race, which is two more than last March.
The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 tire provided yet another illustration of its versatility in Mexico City where it had to cope with a tough cocktail of heat, numerous changes of grip and low downforce, plus the fact that the cars have evolved and are even faster than they were here last season. That said, thanks to the experience of last year’s race, we had every confidence in our Formula E tire’s ability to deliver, just as it has done across an exceptionally broad spectrum of conditions since its debut at the beginning of the 2016/2017 season. We weren’t unduly concerned about wear, either, even though the cars are now faster and this year’s race was two laps longer. In addition to contributing to the tremendous show spectators were able to enjoy in Mexico City, the Pilot Sport EV2 also allowed the drivers to keep up their respective fights for position right up to the chequered flag without having to worry about their tire.
The all-electric single-seaters will now travel to Punta Del Este, Uruguay, for round six of the 2017/2018 FIA Formula E Championship on March 17. After the South American fixture, the teams will head back across the Atlantic for the European leg of the competition.