With a recent contract extension though 2019 in hand, Pirelli chairman, Marco Tronchetti, says the Italian company would welcome tire competition in Formula 1. That wasn’t what then-boss Bernie Ecclestone wanted for the series but a recent fan survey pointed to a majority of respondents suggesting that a tire war might be the thing to liven up the competition between teams.
The FIA recently awarded the contract extension to Pirelli but the tender was also answered by Michelin under the stipulation that the French manufacturer would only re-enter F1 if the high degradation concept was eliminated.
According to an article at Autosport, Pirelli believe the teams are very keen to remain in a sole-supplier format and that the cost of a competitive tire supplier war would drive up expense. Pirelli’s Tronchetti says it’s already very expensive from a tire perspective.
At this point, with a more conservative approach to degradation this season and wider, gripping tires, would a tire war be a good idea as the survey suggests? The Bridgestone/Ferrari alliance was great for the Scuderia but not so great for other Bridgestone-shod teams. Tronchetti said:
“We race everywhere in the world, alone and against others.
“We like competition.
“When we race with the others, we win.
“We’re ready for any competition, with anybody.”
If you’ve listened to our podcast for any length of time you’ll know that I’m fine with the return of multiple tire manufacturers. It adds a real element of pressing the innovation of tire design and performance. That being said, if there was to be an option for more than one supplier, I think it would be best if F1 coordinated that with the new engine and possibly new chassis for 2019-20 and move toward a larger wheel design.
Hat Tip: Autosport