Germany’s capital city Berlin to host Hankook and Formula E
■ ABB FIA Formula E makes its way to Europe for the first time this season with Berlin as a host city
■ The Tempelhof airport track hosts the official Formula E rookie test following the doubleheader in Berlin
■ Hankook Tire’s iON evo secures the test victory in the latest Auto Bild tire test, proving its excellent performance
Neu-Isenburg, Germany, April 18, 2023 - After races in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, India, South Africa, and Brazil, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is heading to Europe for the first time this season. Germany’s capital city Berlin is the venue for races seven and eight on April 22 and 23. And the Hankook iON Race will be making sure the 22 drivers have the necessary grip at the decommissioned airport Tempelhof. This will be the ninth edition of the Berlin E-Prix, which is a permanent fixture on the calendar of the all-electric race series. With approximately 3.7 million residents, Berlin is the largest local authority in Germany and the most densely populated city in the European Union. It takes 18 days and 1,643 concrete blocks and safety fences to transform the apron of Tempelhof airport into a real racetrack. “Europe is the biggest sales region for our company. Here in the EU, we produce customized tires for all of Europe’s leading automobile manufacturers at one of the most modern facilities in the world. This is why we are delighted that Formula E is now coming to the fans in Europe. The opening races in Berlin are extra special since Germany is one of our key markets globally. The concrete slabs on the former Tempelhof airport are of course a challenge. But the strong performance of our premium tire Hankook iON Race in all of the season’s rounds thus far on various tracks has shown that our engineers have done a great job of developing the tire in advance,” says Hankook’s Director of Communications Felix Kinzer.
There are four drivers who are very excited to be traveling to their home event. In front of their “own fans”, Germany’s Maximilian Günther (Oberstdorf/Maserati MSG Racing), André Lotterer (Duisburg/Avalanche Andretti Formula E), René Rast (Minden/NEOM McLaren Formula E Team) and Pascal Wehrlein (Sigmaringen/TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) will battle for victory. Wehrlein has already won two races this season and leads the overall standings with 86 points, ahead of second-placed Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti Formula E) of Great Britain, who trails by 24 points. In third place is New Zealand’s Nick Cassidy (61 points) from Team Envision Racing.
The 2.355-kilometer track with five right-hand and five left-hand turns is characterized by its very fluid layout. The best places to overtake are at the end of the long straights heading into turns one and six. The track has a few full-throttle sections, meaning that slipstream will be an important factor once again.
The first free practice session takes place on Friday, April 21, from 17:00 to 17:30 (local time). The second 30-minute free practice will begin early on Saturday at 08:10. Qualifying follows from 10:40 to 11:55. The Saturday race will start at precisely 15:04. The third 30-minute free practice will begin on Saturday at 8:10, followed by Qualifying from 10:40 to 11:55. The Sunday race will also start at 15:04.
Regarding the challenges Berling presents for the Hankook iON race, Maximilian Günther (Maserati MSG Racing) commented, “The track in Berlin is a huge challenge. The track doesn’t have many turns, but the turns that it does have to require perfection. The tires are, as on all other tracks, a key factor. We have a very good idea of how to get the tires to the optimum window of operation. Very aggressive asphalt awaits us, so we will try out various things in the first free practice session. You need to be good on the brakes in Berlin but also have good traction to carry your speed with you into the long straights. This is really important for qualifying, and during the race so that you have the opportunity to overtake. I have very fond memories of Berlin since I won a race there three years ago. Unfortunately, there weren’t any fans at the track due to the coronavirus. Which is why I am looking forward to seeing the stands packed.”
Nico Müller (ABT Cupra Formula E Team) said, “With the track at Tempelhof airport, Berlin is a special stop on the Formula E calendar. The ground with the concrete slabs is a particular challenge for the Hankook iON Race since the surface is very aggressive. However, over the course of the season so far, we've seen that the tire holds up very well on race weekends and has little wear. Which is why we aren’t too worried about it.”
Immediately following the doubleheader in Berlin, the official rookie test will be held on the Tempelhof airport track on Monday (April 24). Drivers without any Formula E experience will be given the opportunity to discover the power of the Gen3 racing cars for themselves. Those taking part include former Formula 1 driver Jack Aitken and FIA World Endurance Championship driver Yifiei Ye. Since the last rookie test in 2020, drivers such as Nick Cassidy, Sacha Fenestraz, and Jake Hughes have made the leap to Formula E.
Formula E is offering fans a great opportunity to do a few laps of the Berlin racetrack. Those lucky enough to secure a place will be allowed to take to the track on their own e-bike, e-skateboard, e-scooter, or Solowheel and experience the 2.355-kilometer airport track from the perspective of the drivers. Numbers are limited. You can register on the official Formula E website.
Hankook Tire’s iON evo, the premium tire specially designed for electric vehicles, was awarded the top mark in the latest tire check performed by one of the leading German automobile trade publications, Auto Bild, receiving the rating “Very Good.” The magazine’s experts compared three premium summer tires with the dimensions 245/45 R 19 102 Y on a Tesla Model S and tested whether top performance and excellent safety properties were compatible with the requirement for the lowest possible roll resistance to benefit maximum range. Auto Bild’s positive conclusion was: “With the iON evo from the Hankook brand, designed especially for e-cars, we are not forced to choose between safety and driving pleasure on the one hand, and range and environment on the other. The balancing act between the wildly different requirements has been a convincing success.”
In an updated study conducted by the British company Enovation Consulting, in which 105 motorsport series around the world were evaluated in terms of their sustainability, Formula E came out on top once again. 25 sustainability criteria for race series were evaluated. These were determined based on guidelines and models provided by the UN, EU, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Julia Pallé, Head of Sustainability at Formula E: “Formula E was founded to drive the development of e-mobility and to reduce emissions. Impactful partnerships and campaigns are at the heart of our endeavors to bring about lasting change. As the first global sports organization to partner with UNICEF, we are contributing to creating a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable environment for children and future generations to grow up in.”
After an absolutely thrilling race in São Paulo, Mitch Evens as the winner of the sixth round of the season was the first to see the black and white checkered flag. The most colorful, most exciting, and most impressive images from Brazil are available on Hankook Tire Europe YouTube Channel in the Hankook highlights clip.
Stay up-to-date with all of the latest news and information about Hankook's involvement in Formula E by following Hankook Motorsport on Instagram (@hankooktire.motorsports) and Twitter (@hankook_sport).