"We can deliver different message [s] to different people, talking about road safety and sustainability" - Michelin global Formula E manager Serge Grisin

"We can deliver different message [s] to different people, talking about road safety and sustainability" - Michelin global Formula E manager Serge Grisin

Michelin says it will use the imminent Formula E competition as a "laboratory" to accelerate development of its technology, as its racing tyres will be broadly similar to road variants.

The French tyre manufacturer has sole rights to supply all ten teams in the electric racing vehicle competiton, which kicks off on street circuits in Beijing this September.

"What is important is to use [the] competition as a laboratory to accelerate innovation," Michelin global Formula E manager, Serge Grisin, told just-auto at Donnington race track in the UK Midlands region.

"What is interesting is Formula E is working with sustainability - Michelin has been involved with sustainability with green tyres and the Michelin Bibendum Challenge [for example].

"We are talking about the future of mobility, especially in cities. For Michelin, we will use Formula E to make improvements in tyre technologies, especially for electric cars, which is an answer for mobility in cities."

Grisin added the competition would be the first time a single seat car would use 18" tyres, a size "very close" to that featured on road vehicles.

The inaugural season will see ten teams, each with two drivers, with all confirmed and approved by the FIA.

Each team will run four Spark-Renault SRT-01E Formula E cars, two per driver, with the cars and operations based at a purpose built central workshop at Donington Park, part of a number of steps to reduce overall running costs.

From season two Formula E will become an 'open championship' allowing teams to design and develop their own cars - in accordance to technical specifications set out by the FIA - and showcasing their electrical energy innovations in a competitive, racing environment.

"Every race will take place in cities - it will be a new public that will be interested," said Grisin. "It will not be in competition with other championships.

"We will have a different audience compared to classic races like Le Mans. We can deliver different message [s] to different people, talking about road safety and sustainability."

As well as every car sporting a Michelin logo, all vehciles also carry an "Action for Road Safety" slogan, equally backed by the tyre manufacturer.

Michelin will supply its Pilot Sport EV tyre for the ten teams - a brand which is suited for dry and wet conditions - "a big innovation for motorsport," said Grisin.

The development will mean fewer tryes having to be manufactured and transported.

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