FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP
Rounds 9 and 10 of the 12-round 2016/2017 FIA Formula E Championship at Red Hook, Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, saw a sell-out crowd of more than 30,000 watch the weekend’s two races which were also attended by international celebrities like American actors Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Michelin North America President Pete Selleck took advantage of the occasion to hold a press conference in conjunction with Jean Todt, President of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), on the subject of the importance of tyres when it comes to road safety. At the end of 2014, Michelin and FIA launched a joint programme known as ‘Beyond the Driving Test’ aimed at making world leaders aware of the need to regularly inspect tyre treads and check tyre pressures. Thanks to Michelin and the FIA, the 50 states that make up the United States of America have agreed to include tyre safety-related information in all mandatory documents that target learner drivers, an important breakthrough when it comes to promoting road safety awareness in the USA.
The weekend’s other major event was, of course, the organisation of Formula E action in Brooklyn’s waterfront district where some 80 percent of the purpose-designed 1.953km track was laid with fresh asphalt for the occasion. From the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, where ferries from several Manhattan locations call, it is possible to admire the world’s most famous city skyline and the famous Statue of Liberty which served as backdrop to the weekend’s two ePrix.
The weather was clear for both races, but there was rain for Friday afternoon’s shakedown which gave the drivers a chance to lap in the wet, while the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 – which was developed specifically for Formula E – was able to showcase its versatility and efficiency in adverse conditions.
“Our tyres performed well during shakedown,” confirmed Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport’s Lucas Di Grassi. “We could easily have done the whole race in the wet. I am sure our Michelins would have been up to the job.”
“When we developed the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV for Season 1, and then the Pilot Sport EV2 for Season 3, we always believed their versatility would be one of their biggest strengths,” says Serge Grisin, manager of Michelin’s Formula E programme. “The way the series has unfolded so far, the different types of surface we have had to contend with, the locations we have raced at and the different types of weather we have encountered along the way suggest that is the case. Although we haven’t had any wet races yet, we have obviously used our tyres in wet weather in testing, qualifying and, now, a shakedown session.”
ince the launch of the all-electric racing series back in September 2014, only one qualifying session to date has taken place in wet weather (London, July 2015). In the end, both two New York races – on July 15 and 16 – turned out to be completely dry, while track temperatures climbed to more than 40°C.