Formula-E 2017/2018 - Santiago - Good display of performance in the Chilean caldron
Round 4 of the 2017/2018 FIA Formula E Championship was won by Jean-Eric Vergne, while his team-mate André Lotterer made it a one-two finish for Techeetah. Sébastien Buemi (Renault-e.dams) was third. The afternoon’s hot weather saw the air and track temperatures reach as high as 30°C and 50°C respectively which put both the drivers and their cars to a punishing test. The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2, which was designed especially for the Formula E Championship, provided another illustration of its ability to cover a broad spectrum of conditions and allowed the drivers to deliver an entertaining race from lights-out all the way to the chequered flag.
The 12-turn, 2.46km circuit through the streets of Santiago combined a technically challenging layout with several tight corners, a number of delicate braking zones and as many as seven changes of surface, ranging from a temporary asphalt coating laid especially for the race to a more ageing surface in places. It was the championship’s first visit to the Chilean capital which was the 17th venue to be visited by the series since its creation in September 2014. The 10,000 grandstand seats were all sold out for the day and a big crowd flocked to the e-Village in the city’s picturesque Forestal Park to follow the action on giant screens and enjoy the different attractions.
In Formula E, we are accustomed to competing on different types of surface in hot weather, and we are used to having to cope with various grades of asphalt at the same circuit, but Santiago had all this and was extremely bumpy as well. The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 has frequently showcased its high grip and rapid warm-up performance in the past, but here it also served as a shock absorber to keep the car in contact with the track as much as possible. At the same time, it allowed the drivers to stay in control of their cars and efficiently transmitted the power generated by the latter to the ground. It wasn’t the first time it has had to demonstrate this sort of versatility and, after the job it did today, I think we can definitely describe the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 as a genuine all-terrain tyre!
On March 3, the next round of the 2017/2018 FIA Formula E Championship will take teams to Mexico City’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodrigues which will see the electric single-seaters visit a baseball stadium.