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Evans: Formula E teams could go down "rabbit hole" with Hankook tyres at Berlin E-Prix

Mitch Evans believes Formula E teams could go down “a bit of a rabbit hole” with the Hankook tyres during this weekend’s Berlin E-Prix double-header. 

Hankook tyres

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

The Tempelhof Street Circuit is notorious for having an abrasive surface compared to other venues on the calendar, with the previously used Michelin tyres prone to overheating there.

The French manufacturer has been replaced by Hankook as the sole tyre supplier to the championship this season. Some drivers have suggested the new compound doesn’t offer as much grip as the Michelin rubber.

Evans, who won last time out in Sao Paulo, believes teams will be doing plenty of guesswork this weekend to try and get on top of the tyres.

“It’s a big topic at the moment because the surface has been a bit of a unique one, every year we come here it’s always tricky to get the tyres in the window,” said the Jaguar Racing driver. 

“It’s a bit of a guess, to be honest. The tyre is obviously a lot harder than what we saw with the Michelin, so I don’t know if having an abrasive surface will activate it better or worse.

“That’s something that we’re yet to find out, but it’s going to be tough regardless.”

The Tempelhof venue is the most-used on the Formula E calendar, having been visited in all but one of the previous eight seasons.

Evans believes that the huge amounts of data collected by teams over the years could become a disadvantage, however, due to the differences with the rubber and new-for-2023 Gen3 cars.

The surface at Tempelhof is a regular talking point.

The surface at Tempelhof is a regular talking point.

Photo by: Andreas Beil

“It can go either way,” added Evans. “You can either pre-empt things better because there’s more data there - but with a different car, different regulations and different tyre - or you can go into a bit of a rabbit hole.”

Fellow Kiwi Nick Cassidy agrees that the Hankook tyre has caused greater unpredictability this season and is unsure how it will perform in Berlin. 

But the Envision Racing driver added that the lack of grip, while not optimal for one-lap pace, was producing better racing in the championship. 

“I don’t even think they [Hankook] know what’s going to happen, to be honest,” said Cassidy.  

“I don’t think they understand what is best for it [the tyre], but in a way that’s not a negative thing because if we look at the racing that it has been able to produce, having low grip means that the drivers are more on the limit.

“Passing is possible because the braking distances are long and so it’s producing great racing.” 

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