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Pirelli keen to settle contract talks

Pirelli is keen to learn whether it will be offered an extension to its current F1 contract.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has admitted that the company would like an answer sooner rather than later when it comes to remaining as F1's sole tyre supplier.

Pirelli's current contract expires at the end of the season and, while Hembery intimates that the Italian manufacturer would be interested in remaining in the sport, he points out that there are other areas into which its resources could be diverted, particularly if the teams continue to prevaricate over a decision.

While the contract should be put out to tender, Hembery has suggested that an extension could be agreed by the FIA, and F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone has intimated that, in his opinion, Pirelli could return next year, but the eleven competing teams also have a say, and have yet to reply.

"Time is of the essence, I would suggest," Hembery suggested during the opening day of the Bahrain Grand Prix, "I've got a pretty good idea when [the deadline for a decision] is going to be, and I've urged the teams to decide what they want very quickly. We won't - and cannot - hang on forever.”

The Briton is particularly aware that, with the recession having a knock-on effect for sales of Pirelli products, the company's board could turn its back on F1 at any time, and is keen to see its involvement agreed sooner rather than later.

"I had to present a document for our board again last month, and it went back to them again to review the project,” he told reporters, “The sport is a good platform for Pirelli going forward, but big companies come under a lot of pressure. It's not my decision whether Pirelli stays in F1, it's the shareholders of the company and, at a certain point, someone has to make a decision somewhere.”

Pirelli has come under fire from the teams during the first three rounds of the season, after revisions to its F1 range produced concerns over degradation levels, particularly from the softer compounds.

Tagged as: Pirelli , contract , Paul Hembery

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JakeB - Unregistered

April 20, 2013 8:31 AM

+1 for some decent tyres. It can't be doing Pirelli's sales much good if the public think their tyres only last 10 minutes! And an allocation of tyres for qualifying as well please. Race strategy should not be played out in qualifying. The fastest gets pole and shouldn't be disadvantaged for trying. Ridiculous that Vettel didn't bother to qualify properly to get an advantage in the race. Oh, and all cars should have a titanium "spark generator" plate 2mm off the ground ...

Richard Prior - Unregistered

April 20, 2013 7:47 AM

F1 is about going flat out for the entire life of the tyre. The tyre life should be between 33% to 40% total race distance (dependant upon circuit). Gary Anderson (BBC Sport), is totally wrong in my opinion with his conclusions to maintain the status quo of Pirelli's rubber (balls). If F1's tyres allowed "flat out" driving throughout the variable "tyre life", there would still be an advantage for teams whose cars maximised their tyre life potential, and rewarded smooth driving techniques. Today's tyres are ridiculous and denigrate what F! stands for - "The most advance high performance motor racing in the world" Sack Pirelli as quickly as possible. Select 2 tyre suppliers whose role is to compete against each other to a specification of tyre life between 20-25 laps - (at least 2 tyre changes per race) Flat out racing please.

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