Jenson Button, McLaren, Nurburgring, 2013

McLaren expect Pirelli to remain as tyre supplier

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Nurburgring, 2013McLaren 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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17 comments on “McLaren expect Pirelli to remain as tyre supplier”

  1. If Pirelli can get their act together, I am fine with them being tyre maker.

    1. It’d really help them if they could actually get some proper testing time before the season starts.

    2. I just want a tyre that doesn’t boil if you push, and only their soft and super-hard compound are present.

  2. I really don’t see why F1 would go anywhere else for tyres. Pirelli have done their best to fill a difficult brief they’ve had to fulfill and, for the most part, have done a good job and have been very open about their desire to continue supplying the sport.

    On the other hand, the way they’ve been abused by the FIA and chastised by the fans (unfairly, in my view) when they’ve fallen short must surely put the majority of other would-be suppliers off from wanting the job themselves.

    I think the FIA believe that being the official tyre supplier for F1 is this golden privilege and major aspiration for all tyre manufactures all over the world. While that may have been true once, I think the trouble Pirelli have had to deal with over the last two and a half seasons has shown that it can be as much a curse for a supplier as it is a blessing…

  3. Despite the issues we’ve had with the tyres in 2013 and how much I hate the strategy of designing the tyres to degrade quickly, I really hope Pirelli will stay for the 2014 season. With all the changes next year, Formula 1 teams need a solid foundation which they can build upon. And with the more conservative tyres next year, everything might turn out fine.

    But first and foremost we need clarity from the FIA whether Pirelli is staying or not. To be honest, the tyre supplier should have been announced by now. From an aerodynamic and mechanical point of view, the tyre specification is a crucial design factor. Compare it to interior designing without the house’s blueprints. The FIA should suck up its pride, give Pirelli a cheap deal and give a piece of clarity to the teams.

    1. Yes but without that brief, imagine what a fun-less world we would live in if we couldn’t make jokes about tyres :-)

  4. I can’t find the links but I’m sure I read that Pirelli were going to bring much more conservative tyres for next year as the teams will be focusing on the engines and kers systems. This is also ideal as they can take a backseat in the media for a little while.

    I also remember reading that Pirelli has signed a 5 year deal with the tracks to advertise around them. I can’t see a new tyre manufacturer coming in while that agreement still stands.

    My guess is that they have pretty much got everything signed up but are still disputing some very minor details.

  5. I fully agree wit @full-throttle-f1 and @magnificent-geoffrey and @andae23. With all the change that is awaiting us next year it is in F1’s best interests to have at least one stable factor, Pirelli could be that stable factor. Give them plenty of testing opportunities next year and those conservative tyres could turn out great. However it seems there is now a major rift between Pirelli and the FIA. Of course I don’t to tell over what matter that rift came to existence. The fact that the FIA is yet to confirm Pirelli way over the deadline means it looks like the FIA is having serious talks with Michelin to see how a deal can be made.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Michelin return to the sport either, however it wouldn’t be particularly nice towards Pirelli who in the end only did what the FIA asked them to do. For this loyal service Pirelli only asked for one thing in return and that was more testing opportunities, which they never got………

    Like I said if Pirelli stays that’s a nice stable factor for next year but if the deal doesn’t get extended it isn’t the end of the world either.

  6. Several things i’ve heard suggest Michelin are definitely coming back into F1 (Not necessarily for 2014) & that an agreement may have already been reached.

    Also seems certain that they won’t be back as sole supplier, They want competition & are also keen for larger rims/lower profile tyres (As are Pirelli for that matter).

    1. Single seaters would look ridiculous with low profile tyres.

      1. F1 cars have looked ridiculous for years, low profile tyres would be the least of my worries while we’ve got cars that look like open wheel snow ploughs.

        1. @beneboy I couldn’t agree more.

      2. Well, IndyCar uses lower profile tyres and I think they look better. They are also easier to warm-up, so they don’t require tyre-blankets. Smaller sidewall also means better structural integrity and less bouncing around if the wheel becomes detached, so they are slightly safer.

        1. @maroonjack

          Well, IndyCar uses lower profile tyres and I think they look better.

          I agree with that too!

      3. Superleague Formula used Michelin lower profile tyres than F1 & they looked ok-

        Keith did a good article on this subject a few years back which is worth looking at again-

        1. How come Yokohama is never in the picture as a future tire supplier. They make very good slicks for a lot of race cars.

        2. @gt-racer
          I went to have a look at the link you posted to the 2010 article and the first sentence gave me an ironic smile-

          We’re now four months into 2010 and we still don’t know who will be supplying tyres to F1 teams next year.

          In 2013, we are almost nine months into the year and we still don’t know . . .

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