Pirelli has confirmed that its recently-announced deal to exclusively supply the Formula One world championship with tyres for the next three years will become a 'vital calling card' for the brand, helping its commercial and industrial expansion without disrupting the company's long-term financial strategy.
The global visibility guaranteed through the extensive media interest in F1, together with plans to use Pirelli's involvement as an activity central to the company's core business, represents a unique opportunity for the brand to maximise its return on investment.
The Italian concern is planning to make important investments in corporate communications in order to make the most of the high profile and cutting-edge technology that go hand in hand with supplying F1, using resources and budget that has already been set aside for this purpose. This communications campaign will principally help to support Pirelli's increasing profile in the emerging Latin America, Middle East and Asia Pacific markets, which are all areas now visited by F1.
Motorsport's governing body, the FIA, confirmed that the Italian firm will supply all F1 teams from 2011-13, replacing current sole supplier Bridgestone and taking on the requirement to provide six types of tyre, four for dry weather, one for rain and one intermediate. The company, which exclusively supplies the new GP3 Series, will also replace Bridgestone as the sole tyre supplier to GP2, completing a monopoly on three key rungs of the single-seater ladder, and adding to a roster that already includes the World Rally Championship, World Superbike Championship, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, Motocross World Championship and several other national championships on two and four wheels.
Pirelli's successful bid was based on specific proposals from the Italian company to guarantee technical and operational stability to competitors. The current economic climate has led to a realistic and collaborative approach with all the teams, ensuring that manufacturing and logistical costs are shared fairly. Pirelli's return to F1 also has one eye on the future, with research into innovative new tyre developments a vital part of the programme.
The new F1 agreement crowns Pirelli's historic involvement in world motorsport, which dates back to 1907 and victory in the epic Paris-Peking road race, but the Italian brand has been absent from modern grand prix racing for nearly 20 years, with its last race win coming courtesy of Nelson Piquet and Benetton in the 1991 Canadian round at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Pirelli is set to provide further details of its return to the top flight during a press conference over the European GP weekend in Valencia.