At the 65th Frankfurt International Motor Show, Michelin announced that it has become the official tire-supply partner to the FIA Formula E Championship, World’s First Global electric race series, for the first two years, having been awarded the contract by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in March 2013.
Michelin has joined hands with Renault as the official tyre partner for the much-anticipated Spark-Renault SRT_01E fully-electric single-seater. Using the very latest technology, the SRT_01E aims to push the boundaries of what is currently achievable in electric motorsport, whilst ensuring a balance between cost-effectiveness and sustainability.
At the presentation of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E electric single-seat racecar (which will be used by all teams during the championship’s first season) during the Frankfurt International Motor Show, Michelin unveiled the tires developed specially for the new car, which are revolutionizing the design of tires for single-seat sports cars.
“Innovation is in Michelin’s DNA and such partnerships allow brands to be at the center of cutting edge motorsports technology, transferring the experience of the track to the street for the evolving customers. Michelin’s association with FIA Formula E Championship reinforces that automobile racing can provide tangible solutions to issues involving the mobility of people and goods. We are convinced that the upcoming championship will prove to be the urban mobility laboratory of the future” says Serge Grisin, head of Michelin’s automobile racing operations.
Key highlights of the Michelin tyre technology used in the Spark-Renault SRT_01E:
- World championship on 18-inch tires
- For the first time in the history of motorsports, a world championship involving single-seat cars will be run on 18-inch tires. Michelin’s choice, which was enthusiastically endorsed by the sport’s governing authorities, was guided mainly by a desire to deliver energy efficiency as well as a close resemblance between racing tires and street tires.
- Versatile, treaded tires for wet and dry tracks
- The new MICHELIN tires for the FIA Formula E Championship have a tread that is designed for use on both dry and wet tracks. As such, they are adapted to all Championship circuits and all weather conditions. Delivering this unique versatility was one of the goals of the Michelin Motorsport developers. “When driving on the open road in traffic, nobody uses slick tires on his car, even if it is very sporty,” says Nicolas Goubert. “That’s why we wanted to use treaded tires for the FIA Formula E Championship, which is held on circuits created in downtown areas. By staying close to reality, the transfer of racing tire technology to street tires is more relevant and can be made faster.”
- Incomparable performance for a treaded tire
Although treaded, the MICHELIN tires used in the FIA Formula E Championship are nonetheless true racing tires. “No treaded tire today can deliver the same level of performance as the MICHELIN tires designed for the FIA Formula E Championship,” says Nicolas Goubert.
In designing the new single-seater, Spark Racing Technology has been supported by industry-leading companies, such as Dallara (chassis), McLaren (propulsion system), Renault (electronics and optimization) and Williams (batteries); demonstrating once again that the long-term strategic partnership between the two companies has led to the development of a vehicle that delivers high-level performance.
Contestants in the first season of the FIA Formula E Championship, scheduled to begin in September 2014, are currently being determined. Andretti Autosport, China Racing and Drayson Racing are the first teams to have committed to the competition. In all, ten teams and twenty cars are scheduled to take part in the championship’s first season.