Although Saturday’s Marrakesh E-Prix at Circuit Moulay El Hassan in Morocco took place in bright, sunny weather, the drivers had to cope with big temperature differences during race day, with the thermometer dipping to as low as 3°C at 8am shortly before the beginning of Free Practice
1 before climbing to 26°C for the start of the race.
This amplitude created an interesting challenge for the teams since the drivers and engineers were forced to think ahead and take this shift in account when setting up their respective cars which hadn’t previously run in conditions as hot as those encountered in the afternoon. Their Michelin tyres played a big part in this process and they rose to the occasion perfectly to provide the field with a safe, high performance package all day long.
“We didn’t really see the situation as a concern because we knew that the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport climbs to its ideal working temperature very quickly,” said Serge Grisin, the manager of Michelin’s Formula E programme. “As a result, the drivers were able to benefit from its qualities on their first laps straight out of the pits, whether that be in free practice, qualifying or the race itself. We even saw a considerable improvement in the lap times posted in the course of each session, with a gain of close to three seconds during Free Practice 1 which took place at sunrise. For sure, this season’s cars are more powerful but a proportion of this improvement can undeniably be put down to our new tyre.”
Another key factor in Morocco was the energy-efficiency performance of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport which not only allowed the drivers to push as hard as they wished but also favoured some spectacular overtaking and enabled the drivers to benefit fully from their two four-minute Attack Mode periods.
Thanks to its lower rolling resistance and weight, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport makes a real contribution to the cars’ longer range.
Around 25 percent of the energy consumed by a road car – whether powered by an internal combustion engine or electricity – is needed to overcome the rolling resistance of its tyres. Reducing this figure clearly equates to longer range and, in Formula E, the improvements achieved by Michelin in this domain allow the cars to cover an additional lap on the same quantity of energy.
The technology packed by the new MICHELIN Pilot Spot, which made its Formula E debut last month in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, includes several cutting edge performance, versatility and energy efficiency related innovations which Michelin has every intention of carrying over to its road tyres in the future.
The 2019 Marrakesh E-Prix was won by Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing) who was joined on the podium by Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns and Sam Bird. The third round of the 2018/2019 FIA Formula E Championship will take teams to Santiago, Chile, on January 26.