May 23, 2015 / 12:07 PM / 4 years ago

Pirelli ready to bid for new F1 contract

MONACO (Reuters) - Pirelli will seek to extend their Formula One tire contract from 2017 provided they are happy with the regulations and costs are affordable, chief executive Marco Tronchetti Provera said on Saturday.

An emergency exit sign is pictured next to a truck of Italian official Formula One tyre supplier Pirelli in the paddock area of the Nuerburgring racing circuit July 3, 2013. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Formula One’s governing body issued a tender this week for a sole supplier from 2017-19.

“We intend to stay if the regulations are the ones we agree upon, and if the costs are affordable, and the guarantees we want to have in the contracts are accepted,” the Italian told reporters at the Monaco Grand Prix.

“We want a regulation similar to the one today. The tests will be done properly in order to have the best product available, and then we are ready to help create more emotions, but only with the highest level of safety.”

Tronchetti Provera said he was against a proposal to allow teams a free choice of dry tire compounds to use during the race weekend from next year but suggested there could be a satisfactory compromise.

“We have to provide a guarantee of the product. I think the responsibility to choose the tires remains, and has to remain, in our hands because we don’t want our tires not to be used properly,” he said.

“I think we can find a way to provide safe tires, giving also some flexibility. But the basic choice of the tires has to be made by us.”

Pirelli have not given details of any compromise but there has been speculation they could increase the range of compounds from four to six.

Tronchetti Provera said that, with changes envisaged in 2017 to make cars faster and lighter, there would be a need for a return to pre-season testing outside Europe.

Teams have tested previously in Bahrain but that option was removed this year on cost grounds.

“More testing would be better for all of us, also for the teams, and with warmer testing,” he said.

“If we wait until February it’s too late and the temperatures are not the right ones. It’s in the interests of Formula One and all the teams to do that.”

French rival Michelin have expressed an interest in returning to the sport, if tire sizes increase, but Tronchetti Provera said Pirelli was also open to a change in specification.

“The technology inside the tires is based on materials and structure, and the structure can be 13, 15, 18 inches. It doesn’t matter,” he said.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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