Philippe Mussati, Manager of Michelin Motorsport’s Customer Competition Department, met with us during the second round of the World Series by Renault at Spa-Francorchamps. He spoke about Michelin’s long-term partnership with Renault Sport Technologies and upcoming developments in single-seater tyres.

As a manufacturer that has been involved in the world of motorsports for many years, what do you think of the World Series by Renault ?
It’s a very special and unique event for us. Our involvement with the various World Series by Renault championships has enabled us to develop tyres that are adapted to each new car. The latest example is the Renault Sport R.S. 01. We are quite satisfied with the performances of the cars this weekend : three seconds faster than the GT3. Since the start of this project, we have been working to make our tyres as efficient as possible. Renault and Michelin enjoy a relationship of mutual trust that allows us to work together to gradually improve our performances. Similarly, the range of cars featured during a World Series by Renault meeting is impressive. The atmosphere at the World Series by Renault is really very unique. It’s a success year after year and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.

You are the exclusive supplier for all classes at the World Series by Renault. What does this mean for you ?
We have to ensure consistent performances for teams throughout the year. We need to make sure that our product manufacturing processes are dependable to provide teams with the consistency they rely on. It’s a very engaging challenge. We give teams the recommendations for use, such as pressure and camber.

Can you tell us a little about the new 17- and 18-inch tyres that will be tested on the Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 3.5 racing cars, respectively ?
We began this programme about a year ago with Renault Sport Technologies. Michelin’s goal is to take an innovative approach to developing single-seater tyres. We’re trying to develop tyres that more closely resemble the classic sizes of our racing tyres. Motorsports aim to create a link between series cars and racing cars - it’s the idea of going from track to streets. The single-seater is an example of where we take things in the opposite direction.

What specific changes have been made on the single-seaters ?
This shift offers carmakers a number of new possibilities, such as freeing up extra space for brakes. This could potentially create a car that is faster and more efficient. This advantage could be used as an option : rather than increase performances, it could be used to cut costs. Driver feedback has been positive, with many mentioning improved steering response. It also makes a difference on adjustments. This push by Renault and Michelin is right on track and our goal is to shift over to these sizes from 2016.

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