It’s always a bit of an odd situation when a supplier or title sponsor publicly states a frustration or confusion over its current position in Formula One. It’s not always clear as to why they choose to publicly state their confusion but Pirelli are, indeed, confused as to why they haven’t gotten a new contract for 2014 and I can’t blame them.
Providing tires for Formula 1 is no easy task and the specifications for 2014’s tires is critical at this point. The Italian tire maker is assuming it is all systems go for next year and has contracts with most of the teams but no official or formal contract with the series itself. Pirelli’s motorsport boss, Paul Hembery, told AUTOSPORT:
“We are going forward, getting teams signed up, getting promoters signed up and working on 2014. We can only work with what we are being asked to do.
“We have cooperation from teams, cooperation with promoters and ongoing cooperation from the FIA, so until someone tells us something different we don’t see what we should do differently.”
There were some rumors that Michelin could be interested in getting back into F1 but what, if any, impact that may have on a contract being offered to Pirelli for 2014 is unclear. F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and others have made it clear that they are not keen to go back to a format with multiple tire suppliers.
Pirelli had a few issues for the first half of 2013 with tire explosions and a construction that was eventually replaced in favor for the 2012 format to prevent delamination and tire failures. They feel they have remedied that issue but it is unclear if the delay in a contract has anything to do with the failures earlier this year.