Tyres form a massive part of motorsport, and despite Formula E’s strategic side lying in energy management, the world’s premier all-electric racing series isn’t an exception to this pattern.
Just as sustainability lies at the very core of the championship, the same can be said for its tyres and supplier Michelin has a clear commitment to protecting the environment.
Alongside ROKiT Venturi Racing, Michelin has been a part of the Formula E grid since the very beginning, and with a refining approach, the French firm has revolutionised tyre technology.
But what makes the tyres used in Formula E so special?
By using an all-weather compound, Michelin’s tyres can be used in both wet and dry conditions and this gives the tyres a clear likeness to those used on the road.
Since 2014, this design has continually been improved and through constant development, the compound’s performance, consistency and versatility has been advanced.
The numbers showcase this fact alone. Over the past seven seasons, the weight of a set of tyres has been reduced by 9-kilograms and rolling resistance has also been decreased by 20%.
Not only does this show that Michelin is using fewer raw materials in its tyres – with lighter tyres improving efficiency – but also directly portrays their improved durability.
A lower rolling resistance extends the range and therefore, the life of a tyre, meaning that sets can be used for a very long time without needing to be changed.
In Formula E, Michelin’s tyres can be used across practice, qualifying and the race but only by looking at the championship’s tyre allocation since 2014 are we able to see this evolution.
In Seasons 1-4, drivers had two cars and a total tyre allocation of eight per race, but just as Gen2 showcased a major step-up in car performance, it showed the progression of Michelin’s work.
Despite Gen2 racing at higher speeds and for longer distances than ever before, this tyre allocation remained the same in Seasons 5 and 6, but in Season 7, everything has changed.
This season, drivers only have six tyres [three front and three rear] per race while in double-headers, they are only allowed two sets of tyres instead of four, marking a reduction of 25% and 50%.
These changes are not only in favour of the environment but also mean that it is more affordable to go racing, with Michelin’s tyres more efficient than ever before.
With the Pilot Sport EV tyre fitted to our cars this season, we’re excited to be competing with the pinnacle of tyre technology in the world’s only carbon-neutral racing series, courtesy of Michelin.