Italian tyre giants Pirelli are keen to extend their role as Formula 1‘s sole tyre supplier beyond their current deal, that runs out at the climax of the 2019 season.
Pirelli returned to Formula 1 for the first time in 20 years in 2011, replacing Japanese company Bridgestone, tasked with constructing a tyre that would encourage better racing and more pitstops.
Having created a tyre for 2017’s new era that was deemed to be overly durable, Pirelli have introduced two new dry compounds for the 2018 season, as well as revising the current P Zero compounds.
Whilst no negotiations have started as of yet, Pirelli Motorsport boss Mario Isola is confident that talks will start over the course of this season.
“I believe there is the usual process with the tender that means they need to take a decision this year,” said Isola, speaking to RACER.
“I’m not in a position to tell you if it’s June or September or when, but for sure [it will be 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.”
Isola also said that Pirelli are currently happy with the current visions held by Liberty Media for Formula 1’s future, and insinuated that some of the criticisms that they have been subjected to have been unwarranted.
“We are happy with the current situation, this is not a mystery.” he added.
“Also our big boss Mr. [Marco] 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. 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.”