Formula E visit Marrakech’s Circuit Moulay El Hassan for the fifth time and for free practice, qualifying and race each driver will can use eight Michelin Pilot Sport EVs tires.
Formula E returns to familiar territory of Marrakech, but this time the race takes place at the height of summer (July 2), in contrast to the 2020 and 2019 E-Prix there which were held on February 29 and January 12 respectively. The weather is consequently sure to be far, far warmer this time around!
The circuit is almost three kilometres in length but has just 12 corners that are mostly quite slow. It’s a semi-permanent facility and part of the track is employed for various sports and educational activities the rest of the year. For the Formula E clash, they add another section of roads that are normally open to ordinary traffic, including Avenue Mohamed VI and Route de L’Ouraki.
Back in January 2019, the track temperature was barely 5°C for free practice. That’s a record low for the championship that still stands – recalls Mirko Pirraccho, the manager of Michelin’s Formula E programme. This year, the track temperature could easily exceed 50°C at the start of the race, which is about as hot as it gets in Formula E, and we are expecting the air temperature to climb from 16°C in the morning to something like 37°C in the afternoon. That said, the Michelin Pilot Sport EV was engineered from the outset to be competitive and provide the drivers with confidence in all weathers, not to mention their very fast warm-up performance and consistency whatever the conditions. Thanks to our connected monitoring system, we are kept informed of the cars’ tyre pressures at all times and the teams will be able to adjust their respective strategies depending on how the weather evolves on the day. The anticlockwise circuit itself is identical to the layout proposed in previous years and the conditions during the first few laps tend to be fairly delicate because of the sand that gets blown onto the track from the nearby desert. There are also two different types of asphalt, while grip levels are likely to increase as the meeting progresses. As in Jakarta, we will keep a close eye on the temperature and wear levels, but we are confident that our tyres will perform as well as they usually do.
The technologically-sophisticated Michelin Pilot Sport EV is the first-ever connected tyre to be used in world-class motor racing. It is equipped with a sensor which relays pressure-related information to Michelin Motorsport, Race Control and the FIA in real time with a view to optimising performance and ensuring that the regulations are adhered to. Outside of motorsport, this technology is employed to provide ordinary motorists with enhanced safety and peace of mind, while connected tyres are an integral part of the Smart City projects the planet’s biggest cities are working on.
For the 2022 season’s 10th round, the drivers will be authorised to use a maximum of two sets of Michelin Pilot Sport EVs (four fronts and four rears), the bespoke tyre developed for the all-electric racing series. To cover the two free practice sessions, qualifying and Saturday afternoon’s E-Prix (45 minutes + 1 lap), the teams will need to use their respective allocations wisely. The conditions for the race itself promise to be tough on the cars and drivers alike, but the latter know they will be able to count on the expert advice of Michelin’s experienced technicians to optimise their performance.