The inaugural Paris ePrix took place in chilly but dry weather, a first for the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV and a challenge to which it rose without flinching.
The first Formula E race in the streets of Paris was a moment that the teams had long been waiting for, especially the French teams, of course, and also Michelin, a founding partner of the innovative electric single-seater series.
The 14-turn circuit of almost two kilometres in length formed a loop around the famous Hôtel des Invalides in the French capital’s seventh district and it turned out to be one of the most technically demanding of the championship. Its profile and surface were particularly hard on tyres, while Saturday’s cold weather – which saw the temperature rangefrom 9 to 12°C – prevented them from reachingtheir ideal working temperature as quickly as possible.
Serge Grisin, manager of Michelin’s Formula E programme, didn’t see that as a major problem, however: “Since the beginning of the Formula E Championship, we have come across practically all the types of conditions you can imagine. Our tyres have performed in track temperatures ranging from as lowas 5°C during testing at Donington [Great Britain] and Issoire [France], to as high as 55°C in Putrajaya [Malaysia] and Buenos Aires [Argentina]. The versatility of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV, which was designed specifically for Formula E, is unique in the world of single-seater racing.”
Michelin Motorsport Director Pascal Couasnon was also pleased with the way the Paris ePrix unfolded:“Given Michelin’s origins, racing in Paris obviously had a special flavour for us and several members of our Group’s Supervisory Board were there for the occasion. We are particularly pleased to have played a part in thesuccess of the inaugural Paris ePrix which attracted a big crowd. Formula E is important to us because it allows us to promote sustainable mobility and developalternative energies, and our show-stand at the race featured the fuel cell-powered Green GT H2.”
“Transferring technology from the race track to the streetis effectively a driving force behind Michelin’s involvement in motorsport.”
The dramatic 2016 Paris Formula E ePrix was won by Brazil’s Lucas Di Grassi (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport), ahead of Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne (DS-Virgin Racing) and Switzerland’s Sébastien Buemi (Renault-e.dams).
Round 8 of the 2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship will take teams to Berlin, Germany, on May 21.
The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV is a unique tyre developed especially for the FIA Formula E Championship
– The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV’s interior diameter – 18 inches – permits a direct carry-over of the technologies it packs to mass-produced tyres, since the FIA Formula E Championship provides a life-size proving ground. Formula E is the first single-seater championship to use tyres of this diameter.
– Its tread pattern is visually similar to that of a road tyre, or a racing tyre for wet conditions, but the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV is used by the Formula E teams whatever the weather.
– Each Formula E car is allocated a single set of tyres for the entire race day (free practice, qualifying and the race itself). In order to minimise the number of tyres used in the championship, the spares are tyres that are carried over from the previous ePrix.
The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV – Technical Description
Front: 24/64-18 / Rear: 27/68-18 (according to the system employed by Michelin Motorsport, i.e. tread width in centimetres / exterior diameter in centimetres / rim diameter in inches). That’s equivalent to road tyre sizes of 255/40R18 (front) and 305/30R18 (rear), i.e. overall tyre width (mm) / aspect ratio (sidewall-height to tyre-width ratio) / rim diameter (inches). The letter ‘R’ signifies ‘radial’.
Because of its patterned tread and 18-inch interior diameter, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV resembles a road tyre. Yet it packs numerous technologies that are currently being tested with a view to their being carried over to Michelin’s catalogue tyres over the coming years.