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GP Week : Issue 191
PIRELLI GOES AGAIN dESPITE dRIvER CRITICISM Pirelli will continue to supply tyres to Formula One next year, the FIA has officially confirmed, ending months of uncertainty and speculation surrounding the identity of the sport’s tyre supplier. The FIA’s confirmation comes ahead of a crucial season featuring sweeping rule changes including the reintroduction of turbo engines. The new engine regulations will place significantly higher torque and traction demands on the tyres – particularly the rears – than the current power units. Prior to the FIA’s confirmation of Pirelli’s extended contract rumours abounded over the identity of F1’s future tyre supplier, with both Michelin and Hankook linked with the role at various points over the course of the year. The demands of F1 tyre supply have meant that – despite the ongoing speculation – Pirelli have been doing development work on their 2014 rubber for many months, operating on the assumption that their Formula One deal would continue. Even before the FIA confirmed the Italian company would remain the sport’s official tyre supplier, Pirelli had already signed supply contracts with Formula One teams and an agreement for trackside advertising with the sport’s commercial rights holder. “In order to cover the transition period and considering the contracts already settled by FOM and the team with Pirelli, the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) today confirmed that Pirelli may continue to supply tyres to competitors in the FIA F1 World Championship, subject to the requisite technical and safety standards of the FIA being met,” the FIA said in a statement. But the governing body also pointed out that under a new deal agreed between itself and to implement the new Concorde Agreement, the ultimate responsibility to appoint the sport’s tyre supplier rests with it. “One of the noteworthy aspects of the new 2013 Concorde Agreement is the new tender procedure for appointing single suppliers in the tyre and fuel categories, for the FIA F1 World Championship,” the statement said. “In this new process, the FIA will be confirmed as the body in charge of conducting the tender process. The Commercial Rights Holder will be entitled to run the commercial negotiations with potential suppliers, with a view to the selected single supplier being officially appointed by the WMSC.” There was also no mention of the length of Pirelli’s extended supply contract in the FIA statement, but speaking to journalists in Korea Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said that they would continue to supply F1 rubber for the next five years. Hemebery was later forced to defend the company's tyre selection policy after Mark Webber blamed exessive tyre wear for the spectacular delamination of the right-front tyre on the McLaren of Sergio Perez. F1 >>> nEWs 6 GPWEEK.com // 6 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: