Hankook has officially partnered with Formula E to supply the racing series with sustainable tires.
One of the chief missions of Formula E is to make the traditional racing formula significantly more sustainable. They do this through various practices; not selling physical paper/plastic tickets, operating free water filling stations at events, and (obviously) racing electric vehicles. But Formula E will only become more sustainable with its tire partnership with Hankook.
Hankook’s new iON racing tire is specifically designed for Formula E. The tire maximizes performance, sustainability, and usability simultaneously. The Hankook iON uses a similar racing compound to other racing tires with notable changes. The tire uses 30% sustainably sourced materials, and used tires are recycled into new sets after each race. In further efforts to maintain sustainability, the tires are also wet and dry capable, limiting how many sets have to be made in the first place.
Formula E will use the new Hankook iON tires on the upcoming third-generation car that will make its debut race on January 14th in Mexico City. Meanwhile, consumers can also purchase a set of Hankook iON tires for their electric vehicles; “Hankook iON Evo” summer tires or “Hankook iON winter” winter tires.
Sooil Lee, President & CEO of Hankook Tire & Technology, commemorated the event by saying: “A good three years ago, we at Hankook decided to become official technical partner and tire supplier of what is arguably the most progressive, modern, and sustainable racing series in the world from the 2023 season. The philosophy of the Hankook brand and our strategic orientation towards an increasingly sustainable future also reflect the spirit and DNA of Formula E. Together, we will advance and significantly influence the development of modern motorsport over the coming years.”
Some are critical of the new tire choice because of possible performance sacrifices within sustainability efforts. For instance, because the tire is both wet and dry capable, instead of being specialized in one of those conditions, the cars will not be as quick as they could be. Furthermore, Formula E has not pursued the tire system of its Formula 1 counterpart; using soft, medium, and hard tire sets to allow for team strategy, again limiting performance.
It will only become clear how the tire will perform as it is used in the upcoming year, and the tires are but only one part of many upgrades coming in the next generation of Formula E racing.
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