LONDONFIA Formula e Championship tire supplier Michelin Motorsports has developed an all-weather treaded race tire for the series, designed to provide optimum performance in both wet and dry conditions, thus helping to reduce overall costs and promote sustainability.
The tires will be low-profile 18-inch versions, a first for an open-wheel series, the organizers announced.
Each two-car team will have just three sets of tires per race weekend, Michelin said, to cover free practice, qualifying and the race. This equates to a set and a half per car, eliminating excess use and the need for teams to invest in pit-lane tire-changing equipment.
We designed the tires to be both energy efficient and more like road tires, said Pascal Couasnon, director of Michelin Motorsport.
As a consequence, the new FIA Formula e Championship will serve as a life-size laboratory that will help Michelin to prepare its tires of the future.
Nicolas Goubert, Michelin Motorsport's technical director, added that the FIA Formula e Championship will use street circuits in city centers, so our aim was to design tires with tread patterns. The closer we are to the realities of everyday motoring, the more relevant and also speedier the carryover of technology from the race track to road tires becomes.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoters Formula e Holdings, added: The decision to use all-weather tires is in line with the whole philosophy of the championship. Less rubber equals less consumption. Michelin was very clear that was the line they wanted to take, and that was the same line we wanted to take, so it was all very easy.
The Formula e car is capable of speeds in excess of 150 mph and has been designed and built by Spark Racing Technologies, together with a consortium of the leading names in motorsport including Dallara (chassis), Williams (battery design), McLaren (powertrain & electronics), Renault (system integration) and Michelin (tires).
The U.S. unveiling of the car was held in January in Las Vegas in conjunction with the annual International CESa global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow.
Ten teams, including two from the U.S., will contest the inaugural 10-race series, which kicks off Sept. 13 in Beijing, China, and runs through June 27, 2015, in London. The season will have two rounds in the U.S., on Feb. 14, 2015, in Los Angeles, and March 14, 2015, in Miami.
The U.S. teams are Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, both current IndyCar Series teams. The other teams are from China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Monaco and two from the United Kingdom. In addition, award-winning actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio will be involved with the Monaco team, Venturi Automobiles.
Other venues are: Putrajaya, Malaysia, Oct. 14; Rio de Janeiro, Nov. 15; Punta del Este, Uruguay, Dec. 13; Buenos Aires, Jan. 10, 2015; Monte Carlo, Monaco, May 9, 2015; and Berlin, May 30, 2015.
This report first appeared on www.tirebusiness.com.