FIA approve Pirelli, gain tender authority over F1

The World motor Sport Council announced a new Concorde Agreement and a revised 2014 calendar but there was also another announcement that is of note.

The FIA will now be in charge of the tender process for sole suppliers to the Formula 1 series. While the commercial rights holders may work with the supplier for commercial purposes—track hoardings, advertising and financial arrangements—the FIA will be the governing body who creates the tender offer and approves the supplier.

FIA President Jean Todt has been taking some heat lately as he was keen to seek a tender process for the tire supplier for 2014 and this, as you can imagine, had Pirelli a little miffed as they have contracts with each team to supply them for 2014 and beyond.

The new clarification will avoid such back-office deals between Formula 1’s commercial rights holders and the teams and place the sole decision process in the FIA’s hands.

Admittedly the FIA recognized Pirelli’s position and have approved the Italian company as the sole supplier for 2014:
One of the noteworthy aspects of the new 2013 Concorde Agreement is the new tender procedure for appointing single suppliers in the tyre and fuel categories, for the FIA F1 World Championship.

“In this new process, the FIA will be confirmed as the body in charge of conducting the tender process. The Commercial Rights Holder will be entitled to run the commercial negotiations with potential suppliers, with a view to the selected single supplier being officially appointed by the WMSC.

In order to cover the transition period and considering the contracts already settled by FOM and the Teams with Pirelli, the WMSC today confirmed that Pirelli may continue to supply tyres to competitors in the FIA F1 World Championship, subject to the requisite technical and safety standards of the FIA being met.”

An interesting turn of events and release of control from Formula One Management (FOM). One assumes that since they are still going to manage a sole supplier’s commercial portion of their involvement in F1, FOM are happy to allow the FIA to pick winners and losers. Something that gets a little dodgy given politics within F1.

It doesn’t go without noticing the FIA’s requirement of Pirelli to remain as the tire supplier for F1 in 2014: meet the “technical and safety standards of the FIA.” After 2013’s tire blowouts, the FIA couldn’t miss an opportunity to provide a rap of the knuckles in their award.

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