Pirelli hoping to extend F1 deal beyond 2013
Date published : 21 Jun 2012 - 18:18:40
Pirelli confirmed ahead of this weekend's European Grand Prix here that they are hoping to sustain their role as Formula One's sole tyre supplier beyond 2013.
The Italian tyre manufacturer succeeded Bridgestone in 2011 and is now midway through its current three-year deal.
Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembrey confirmed the company is hopeful of another long-term deal.
"Our current contract runs until the end of 2013, but we always intended to be in F1 for the medium-to-long term," he said.
"If the sport wants us to stay and we can convince the board to continue, in light of economic conditions, then our intention is to go forward."
Following suggestions that the current Eurozone crisis might factor into the decision, Hembrey emphasised the sport's interest was worldwide and advised that there were many other markets that would be considered.
"We're a global company, leveraged all over the world and depending on how a host of markets perform, not just Europe," he said.
"F1 is a unique brand, with reach in emerging markets that are important to us."
Hembrey added that although Pirelli has been at the centre of attention lately as teams struggle to get to grips with the new tyres, he would prefer it if more focus was put on the drivers.
"We were asked to provide fun and entertainment with our F1 tyres, although it was not our intention to become the discussion point for the weekend," he said.
"We still want the drivers to be the stars of the show.
"Attracting new people to follow our sport isn't easy, so I'd like us to build up our drivers, and grow their profile as major international sporting stars, and have more visible personalities."