Pirelli extended its contract with Formula 1, which means that it will be the official tire supplier for at least four more years.
The last deal signed between Pirelli and Formula One stated that the Italian brand would produce tires from 2020 to 2023. Four seasons in which only the first one would see the 13-inch tires before the switch to the 18-inch ones.
Despite that, due to the pandemic, the plans changed. The new regulations that were set to be introduced in 2021 were postponed by one year. That meant that Pirelli would only have two seasons in which they could provide the 18-inch tires before the expiry of the deal.
Given the unfortunate circumstances, the FIA and Formula 1 decided that this situation would not be right for Pirelli. This led them to extend their contract with the Italian brand by one more year. Of course, Pirelli accepted the deal immediately.
“I want to thank F1 and Pirelli for their collaboration, flexibility, and commitment to our sport during this most difficult period,” the FIA president Jean Todt said. “COVID-19 has presented us with significant challenges across all aspects of our businesses, but by working together in a sensible, pragmatic way, we have been able to ensure that the long-term stability and strength of F1 remains undiminished.
“The shift to 18-inch wheels and tires will certainly provide a more exciting image for F1 cars, but it has also presented a significant technical challenge requiring a lot of investment and development on behalf of Pirelli as they continue to deliver tires that will perform at the highest level. In light of this, and the necessary postponement of the new regulations as a result of the pandemic, it is only logical to extend the supply of tires accordingly.”
F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali, added: “The pandemic caused disruption across the world and F1 was not immune from that. We, therefore, took the necessary measures last year to defer the regulations by one year to 2022. We are very proud of our partnership with Pirelli and grateful to them for their constructive approach to this timing change.”
Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera said: “We’re obviously pleased to have reached this agreement that will extend our presence at the pinnacle of world motorsport until 2024. Motorsport forms part of our DNA and F1 represents an open-air laboratory that allows us to apply the know-how gained on track into our road car tires.”