Pirelli finally seal F1 tyre contract renewal until end of 2016 season
Wet tyre-test day during pre-season running part of FIA agreement
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 16/01/14 12:15pm
The Italian manufacturer, whose previous three-year F1 supply deal ran out at the end of last year, experienced a difficult 2013 season as their initially fast-degrading tyres caused controversy before a mid-year change, with the firm also expressing frustrations over the sport's testing restrictions.
Although their future in the sport had at one stage appeared uncertain, the FIA announced in September that Pirelli would continue into 2014 and confirmation that a three-year deal has now been agreed with the governing body finally arrived on Thursday.
In what the company says has been a process of ensuring they can "improve levels of safety and performance in Formula One" with the FIA and teams, revisions to the Sporting Regulations from 2014 will see one of the 12 days of pre-season testing exclusively given over to wet-tyre running.
Following the return of in-season testing, each team will also have to dedicate one of their eight days of running over to Pirelli testing to help with the development of the Italian manufacturer's rubber. A maximum of two teams will spend each day of testing focusing on tyre-specific work.
Prior to Christmas, the FIA had also agreed for Pirelli to hold an emergency tyre test in Bahrain with current cars in order to test their prototype 2014 rubber in hot conditions.
'Following a decision by the World Motor Sport Council confirming Pirelli's status as the single supplier of tyres to the FIA Formula One World Championship, Pirelli and the FIA have renewed their Formula One tyre supply contract. The duration of the agreement is for three years, starting from the 2014 season.
'The world motorsport's governing body and Pirelli, in collaboration with the teams, have been working together to improve levels of safety and performance in Formula One, resulting in important changes to the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations regarding the testing of tyres, which will enable the Italian company to continue its Formula One single supply arrangements, in the best interests of the sport.
'These new rules, mandatory from the 2014 season onwards, can be summarised as follows:
1) One of the 12 days of official pre-season testing, as prescribed in the 2014 Sporting Regulations, will be dedicated exclusively to wet tyre testing.
2) Each team will dedicate one of their eight days of in-season testing, as prescribed in the 2014 Sporting Regulations, exclusively to tyre testing. This means that during each of the eight days of in-season testing, at least one team - and up to a maximum of two - will be concentrating on tyre testing along with Pirelli's engineers.
'Pirelli will continue to determine the specification of the tyres and to manage all aspects of their development, in close consultation with the FIA and the teams, and within the parameters set out in the FIA Formula One Sporting & Technical Regulations.
'In addition, Pirelli and the FIA have agreed to discuss how to go about establishing a possible partnership on the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign.'
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, starting in Jerez on Tuesday January 28, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News.