Pirelli is keen to continue as Formula 1’s tire supplier beyond the 2019 season ahead of an expected tender later this year.
The Italian manufacturer has been F1’s single tire supplier since the 2011 season, having originally been tasked with increasing the number of pit stops required in order to lead to more on-track overtaking. In 2017, Pirelli was asked to make more robust compounds that drivers could push harder on as wider tires were introduced, and is looking to combine that with more stops this coming season after a number of one-stop races.
With the current supply contract expiring at the end of the 2019 season, motorsport boss Mario Isola expects a tender to be opened up at some point this year, and says Pirelli is keen to continue working with F1’s new owners Liberty Media.
“I think [the tender will open in 2018] because I believe there is the usual process with the tender that means they need to take a decision this year,” Isola told RACER. “I’m not in a position to tell you if it’s June or September or when but for sure [this year].
“If we continue then it is clearly less of a problem but if there is a new manufacturer coming then they need time to develop a product.
“We are happy with the current situation, this is not a mystery. Also our big boss Mr Tronchetti told the media that we are happy with Formula 1. We are very interested to understand what the plans are of the new owners for Formula 1, because there were a lot of discussions on future plans.
“We are working a lot with them. They have some new ideas, we know it’s difficult for them and sometimes the criticism is a little bit too much, in my opinion. It’s not easy. It’s easy to criticize, but it’s not easy to make things happen. We are happy and we want to continue.
“It depends on many factors of course, but yes, we’re happy [with how F1’s future looks at the moment].”