Michelin is gearing up to supply a new variant of its successful Pilot Sport tire range for the seventh season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
It would come at the same time as the cosmetic upgrade to the current Gen 2 cars for the 2020-21 season, and e-racing365 understands that initial ideas of what could be introduced were discussed at last week’s Technical Working Group meeting.
Michelin, which has been the sole tire supplier to the all-electric championship since its formation in 2014, will likely set to work later this year on a new compound to be introduced at the same time as the car updates.
“It is OK for us to introduce also some developments, it’s the right timing to learn on some races and to introduce some evolutions, so we always look to introduce some new things,” Michelin Formula E program manager Serge Grisin confirmed to e-racing365 last month.
“It is not official yet, so it is in discussion, but always clearly to introduce evolutions, it is not simple for us to do the tire in terms of performance in terms of grip because we have made a very big step from last season in terms of grip anyway.”
Grisin evidenced the contribution that Michelin has had to the overall performance of the Gen 2 cars, which lapped the Marrakesh track over three seconds faster than their predecessors.
“It is difficult to say how much comes from the tire, how much from the car, but I think saying that half of the seconds is from the tyres is perhaps possible,” explained Grisin.
“Some teams say its maybe that or more. It’s clearly difficult [to judge], but a big part is coming from the tires, so this evolution in performance is good as it’s a lighter tyre and its complicated to do it all.
“In the next two years we have some ideas to have a new tire with the same level of performance but clearly working on the efficiency too as well.”
Grisin stated that anything beyond the final season of the Gen 2 era, which will be 2021-22, would be purely speculative at this stage but the company is already thinking about possibilities for its products.
“Generation 3 is a different story because it is a completely new car,” said Grisin.
“In terms of its tires, we will probably do a tender of course, we are looking to that. We already have some great ideas for generation three tyres anyway.”