Go West – Hankook and Formula E head to Portland in the USA
- Formula E heading to the west coast of the USA, Portland, for race twelve of the world championship
- Hankook is to once again offer tires optimal for the Portland track, with a better grip and faster speed
- Nico Müller of ABT CUPRA Formula E Team states the goal for the rest of the race, showing full satisfaction with the impressive performance of Hankook iON Race
Seoul, Korea, 20 June 2023 – Formula E is entering the finish straight at the end of Season 9. The race weekend on the west coast of the USA is the last but two for Hankook and the iON Race. Portland hosts race 12 of the world championship on the 23rd and 24th of June. The city of roughly 650,000 inhabitants is the largest in the state of Oregon and is located on the banks of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, not far from the snow-capped summit of Mount Hood, which stands 3,425 meters above sea level. The first Formula E event in Portland takes place at “Portland International Raceway”, which can be found roughly 10 kilometers north of the city center and has regularly been used by the IndyCar series in recent decades.
“The race in Portland is held at a permanent racetrack for a change. With this in mind, we are expecting far less dirt than we have seen at some other races this season. That will allow the Hankook iON Race to exploit its high level of grip even better, and above all faster, and to offer the drivers optimal support out on the track. The temperature is expected to be lower than at the double-header in Jakarta, which means the teams will gain need a different set-up for the Gen3 cars, in order to get the tires into their optimal working range,” says Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director.
Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) moved back to the top of the overall standings, thanks to his third win of the season in Indonesia. The 28-year-old holds a slender one-point advantage over Jake Dennis (Team Avalanche Andretti Formula E) from Great Britain. A further five points back in third place is New Zealander Nick Cassidy from the Envision Racing team.
The shakedown is on Friday, June 23, from 14:30 – 14:45 (local time), with a first free practice session from 17:00 – 17:30 the same day. The second free practice session takes place from 10:30 – 11:00 the next day on June 24, followed by a qualifying session from 12:40 – 13:55. Race 12 begins at 17:04, Saturday the 24th.
After a difficult start to the season for the ABT CUPRA Formula E Team, their form is now definitely on the up. The team made its first big statement with first and second place on the grid for race eight at the Berlin E-Prix.
The start of the season was a tough one – how is the situation now, and what does the team expect from the coming races?
Müller: “The start of the season was anything but easy for us. We had definitely done less testing than others. Despite this, you have to say that we are moving in the right direction. We are improving from race to race and so can see a positive trend. Our goal is to score a few more points at the remaining three race weekends.”
The Hankook iON Race is new to all the teams this season. How are you managing the tire and what are its characteristics?
Müller: “The Hankook iON Race is a very efficient tire. You can immediately feel that the roll resistance is very low, which is really important in Formula E, in order to save energy during the race. Furthermore, the tire works very well in any condition, which I find extremely impressive. In Formula E, there is just one tire for all situations. Whether the track is dry, wet, damp, or dirty, the Hankook iON Race always performs impressively. We do almost all the sessions on a weekend with the same set of tires, and the wear is still very low. That is particularly good for the environment. I find the all-around capabilities of the tire really pleasing. We cope very well with the tire at every race weekend, as we showed with a one-two in the rainy qualifying in Berlin.”
How much does the tire influence the set-up of the Gen3 car?
Müller: “When it comes down to it, the tire is the only part of the car that really comes into contact with the track. As such, it also has a big influence on the set-up, as you basically base the whole car on the properties of the tire, in order to generate as much grip as possible and allow good handling. On the one hand, the rigidity of the chassis is important, in order to ensure that the car is always in contact with the ground. On the other hand, you always want to have the tire in the ideal temperature range. The tire cannot be too hot or too cold on the front and rear axles. For this reason, the tire influences the whole set-up of the car, as you adjust the camber, tracking, gauge, spring stiffness and so on, in order to get the tire in the ideal working window for maximum performance.”
Plenty of overtaking maneuvers, thanks to the grip provided by the Hankook iON Race: Jake Hughes (NEOM McLaren Formula E Team) recovered from a disappointing qualifying in Jakarta to battle his way from 20th on the grid into tenth place in a thrilling Saturday race. Dan Ticktum (NIO 333 Racing FE Team) gained nine positions in his Gen3 car on Sunday, in what proved to be an equally exciting E-Prix. Both were named “ABB Driver of Progress”.
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and Hankook worked closely on the development of the new standard tire for the Gen3 era of Formula E, the Hankook iON Race. The goal was to combine top performance at the racetrack with unprecedented sustainability requirements. An extensive article on the official Formula E website contains a lot of fascinating background information. You can find the feature here.
It was a scorching hot double-header in the Indonesian metropolis of Jakarta. The man who kept the coolest head was Maximilian Günther from the Maserati MSG Racing team. The German was fastest in all the free practice sessions, twice secured pole position, set a new lap record, and followed up third place in Saturday’s race with victory in race two on Sunday. The opening race was won by Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team). You can find the brightest, most exciting, and most impressive scenes from Jakarta here in the Hankook Highlight Clip.
As well as on YouTube, you can also find regular news and information on Hankook’s involvement in Formula E on Twitter (@hankook_sport) and Instagram (@hankooktire.motorsports).
You can find the latest Hankook Press Kit for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, looking ahead to the coming race in Portland here.