Vergne and Audi Sport secure 2017/2018 titles with Michelin
The New York City E-Prix saw Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler/Michelin claim the 2017/2018 FIA ABB Formula E Drivers’ and Teams’ titles. Season...
Formula E’s latest-generation, all-electric, Michelin Pilot Sport-equipped ‘Gen2’ single-seaters were in action this week at Valencia, Spain, where an official test was organised to allow teams to prepare for the 2018/2019 championship’s opening clash in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on December 15.
After their unveiling at March’s Geneva Motor Show, the FIA Formula E Championship’s Gen2 cars took to the track this week at Circuit Ricardo Tormo (3.094km) near Valencia, Spain, where a three-day collective test was attended by the 11 teams and the majority of the drivers registered for the 2018/2019 series.
The more powerful (250kW/335hp) and faster cars (top speed: 280kph), which benefit from additional range, were equipped with Michelin’s new Pilot Sport tyre and teams faced a variety of conditions ranging from dry to wet.
“The work on our new tyre focused essentially on energy efficiency and saving weight,” says Serge Grisin, the manager of Michelin Motorsport’s Formula E programme. “It is worth noting that four latest-generation Pilot Sports weigh the same as three Season 1 tyres, and this unsprung-weight advantage makes a real contribution to the new cars’ enhanced performance. The feedback we got from our partner teams and drivers was very positive and backs up the results of our own private testing when we saw that the new Pilot Sport delivers improved grip and stability.”
As a circuit, Valencia marks a big contrast to the street venues that will host the 2018/2019 championship’s 13 races but the Gen2 cars proved faster than their predecessors at last October’s pre-Season 4 test at the same track.
The timesheets were dominated by Alexander Sims and Antonio Felix da Costa, the two drivers recruited by the newly-formed BMW i Andretti Motorsport team, with the latter clocking the week’s fastest lap (1m16.977s). That said, no fewer than 11 drivers completed the final session blanketed by less than a second.
A 45-minute race simulation was also staged, since the new Gen2 cars and their Michelin Pilot Sport tyres are designed to eliminate the need for mid-race car swaps.