Pirelli will remain as an F1 tyre supplier until at least the end of the 2016 season, having agreed a new deal with the FIA.
The three-year agreement follows a period of unrest over tyres, with Pirelli having to change the construction of its 2013 product following a series of high-profile failures at the British Grand Prix, outcry over a private test staged with the Mercedes team immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix and reluctance on the teams' part to share sensitive 2014 data that would help the Italian company press ahead with the design of tyres for the new technical era facing the sport from 2014.
Despite suggestions that it may be prepared to walk away from F1 – a move that would potentially leave the top flight without a tyre partner – Pirelli revealed in September that it would remain on board for 2014 and, having had further concerns addressed by the governing body, via key changes to F1's sporting regulations regarding testing, has now agreed to extend the relationship by a further two seasons.
Among the changes, one day of the dozen allocated for pre-season testing will be dedicated to evaluation of wet weather tyres, while each team will also dedicate one of their newly-allocated eight days of 'in-season' testing exclusively to working with Pirelli. Moving pre-season testing to Bahrain also placated the company, which felt that its preparations had been hampered by cold conditions in Spain prior to the 2013 campaign, while the FIA also agreed to an 'emergency test' at the same venue last month in order for it to get an early handle on 2014 prototype rubber.
Despite the FIA having 'advised' it to produce quickly degrading tyres in order to boost the spectacle of F1 in recent years, Pirelli has announced that, with teams getting to grips with a new engine and drivetrain package in 2014, its product would be more conservative this time around. The company will, however, continue to manage all aspects of tyre development in close consultation with the FIA and the teams this year.