Michelin has been selected as the new Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Formula E Championship’s official tyre partner. The French tyre manufacturer’s bid was chosen by the motorsport’s governing body for its technical expertise, its marketing plan and involvement in mobility promotion programmes.
Pascal Couasnon, Director of the Michelin Group’s motorsport department, says, “When it comes to energy efficient tyres and responsible motorsport, Michelin has emerged as a pioneer. We will provide the competitors in this innovative new championship with Michelin tyres engineered to bring out the very best in these cars.
This new race series will introduce a new form of cleaner power to racing, bring the sport right into the heart of city centres around the world, and be the perfect showcase for the Michelin Total Performance concept: working simultaneously on all the factors that contribute to tyre performance, including those commonly believed to be irreconcilable.”
Sustainability is very much front of mind these days, as is finding and refining alternative fuel sources; it was only a matter of time before a race series like this would become a reality and start an exciting new chapter in the story of the car. With racing scheduled to begin in 2014, Formula E is going to be unique whilst retaining enough of what people know and love about Formula racing cars.
The promoters, Formula E Holdings, are aiming for the series to race in at least 10 different cities; locations confirmed so far, are: London, Rome, Putrajaya in Malaysia, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Miami and Los Angeles. Two more cities need to be chosen and Cape Town is rumoured to still be on the shortlist.
Initial plans will see the grid being made up of 10 teams and 20 drivers, expanding to 14 teams in 2015, with entrants allowed to use their own cars, or one based on a Formulec EF01 prototype. Races will be an hour long and feature two pit stops, where the drivers will change cars, due to battery life only being between 15 and 20 minutes. The season-winning team will get two million Euros and race winning drivers will share a four million Euro prize fund.