FIA Formula E

Formula E: Britons rule at 2019/2020 curtain raiser in Saudi Arabia

Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin) and Alexander Sims (BMW I Andretti Motorsport) took the two wins at the opening meeting of the 2019/2020 Formula E Championship in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Michelin has been the official tyre supplier to the FIA’s all-electric racing series since its creation in 2014.

FIA Formula E

Vergne scores second straight Formula E crown!

DS Techeetah/Michelin’s Jean-Eric Vergne emerged from the 2019 New York City E-Prix as the first driver in Formula E history to claim the title twice. The Frenchman successfully defended his 2017/2018 crown after the weekend’s doubleheader meeting in New York City, USA, which produced wins for Sébastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams/Michelin) and Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin). DS Techeetah/Michelin is Season 5’s Teams’ champion.

FIA Formula E

Formula E: The Michelin Pilot Sport: tried and approved in many different conditions

In the course of the first half of the 12-round 2018/2019 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the new Michelin Pilot Sport had to contend with an exceptional variety of conditions, from cold and rainstorms, to extremely hot weather and even sand. It rose to the occasion in style, however, and some of the new-generation racing tyre’s technological bricks have been incorporated into the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV road tyre that was launched at March’s Geneva Show.

To match the power upgrade boasted by Formula E’s latest ‘Gen2’ single-seaters, Michelin launched a new, even lighter, more durable and more versatile version of the Pilot Sport for the all-electric championship’s fifth season, and the newcomer has had to cope with some pretty extreme conditions over the first six rounds.

For the inaugural race in Saudi Arabia, for example, the circuit’s surface was coated in wet sand in places, making grip one of the day’s biggest challenges. Yet the Pilot Sport allowed the drivers to qualify at average speeds in excess of 120kph!

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In Marrakech, Morocco, the thermometer stood at just 5°C when the cars left the pits for Free Practice 1. “Despite the cold, and the fact that tyre warmers are not allowed in Formula E, the Pilot Sport needed just one to one-and-a-half laps to get up to its ideal working temperature and deliver its full potential,” notes Serge Grisin, the manager of Michelin Motorsport’s Formula E programme.

In contrast, ground temperatures reached as high as 52°C in the streets of Santiago, Chile, scene of the campaign’s third clash. Never before had the series experienced such heat and, this season, it mustn’t be forgotten that drivers have a single set of tyres each per meeting, which equated to a distance of almost 100km that weekend. “Not only was the Pilot Sport competitive all the way to the chequered flag but some teams also reported that its performance improved with every lap,” reports Serge Grisin.

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Next came Hong Kong, Formula E’s 50th e-prix but a very rainy one. “It was the first time since the championship’s creation in 2014 that we saw the Formula E cars lap in such wet weather,” says Serge Grisin. The Pilot Sport had never been tested in these conditions but the drivers were pleasantly surprised by the new tyre’s progressive handling, even though the track didn’t drain very well and despite the numerous slippery painted road markings.

Overall, the first half of the 2018/2019 championship proved particularly positive for the Michelin Pilot Sport which, say the drivers, has more of a ‘racing’ feel to it, not to mention superior grip and even better performance compared with its predecessor.

“In spite of this all this varied punishment, we haven’t come across a single problem,” observes Serge Grisin.

After stopovers in Rome and Paris, the Pilot Sport’s next big challenge is likely to be the Berlin E-Prix (May 25) which takes place on the apron of the former Tempelhof Airport, the most abrasive venue on the Formula E calendar...

FIA WEC

Twenty-nine champions for FIA endurance racing Hall of Fame

After creating Halls of Fame for its Formula 1 and Rally World Championships, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has now added an endurance racing section at its Paris headquarters. Twenty-nine champions were inducted at a special ceremony on Monday evening (December 2). It was organised in association with Michelin, a long-time major player in the discipline.

FIA WRC

Citroën and Michelin: a winning combination in the WRC

Citroën has announced its intention to curtail its involvement in the FIA World Rally Championship. Together, the French car firm and Michelin have harvested five Manufacturers’ titles, four Drivers’ crowns, 58 world-class wins and 150 podium finishes.

MOTOGP™

MotoE: Ferrari claims inaugural Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup

Fifth place at the last round of the 2019 Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup sufficed for Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) to become the new competition’s first champion. The weekend’s two races were won by pole-winner Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Márquez wraps up 2019 with home success

The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana was won by Spaniard Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team). Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha Petronas SRT) was second, while Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) made it three different bikemakers on the podium. All three riders chose the same tyre combination for the 19th and last round of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship.  

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