McLaren say they are “assuming” Pirelli will continue as the official F1 tyre supplier next year.
Pirelli’s contract expires at the end of this year but the FIA are yet to announce whether they will change suppliers next.
McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale believes it is likely the Pirelli deal will continue. Speaking in a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in he said: “I think at this stage we are assuming – I don’t know whether there’s any foundation for that – that somehow the process will continue with Pirelli.”
“And if it does then I think that we have wind tunnel tyres and tyres for next year that will support our car development process.”
Neale said a change in supplier could still be accommodated but it would force compromises on the teams: “If we were to get a late change from somebody else coming into the sport at short notice of course we would work around that, work with whoever the FIA chose that to be.”
“But certainly I think for all of the teams, not just McLaren, making sure that we understood exactly what tyre shape, weight, was going to be, does affect some of the vehicle layout decisions. But it would be the same for everybody so if somebody throws in a curveball at the last minute we’ll all have to recover but there’ll be some winners and losers in that.”
Pirelli’s original three-year deal as the official F1 tyre supplier was announced in June 2010.
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