Pirelli says F1 tyre tender would be farcical

Pirelli says F1 tyre tender would be farcical
McLaren Formula One and Pirelli technicians check tyres ahead of the weekend's Belgian F1 Grand Prix.

BELGIUM - Putting Formula One's 2014 tyre supply contract out to tender would be a farcical step so late in the season, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said on Saturday.

The Italian company is proceeding on the basis that it will remain the sole supplier next season but has yet to sign a contract with the sport's governing, International Automobile Federation (FIA).

Hembery told reporters at the Belgian Grand Prix that 10 of the 11 teams had signed contracts with Pirelli as had the commercial rights holder, who also has a deal for trackside advertising.

However, French rivals Michelin have been reported in the media as saying they were interested in returning to Formula One next year.

"Ask Michelin," Hembery said when asked about the reports. "We have contracts in place, and we would hope people would respect them.

"We have lots of contracts signed."

Hembery said an agreement with the FIA, led by Frenchman Jean Todt, would have to wait until the governing body's world council meeting in Croatia next month.

Formula One's tyre specifications for 2014, which teams need to know to design their cars, have to be lodged within a matter of weeks and Hembery said Pirelli were on course to meet the deadline.

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