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Pirelli willing to radically change tyres as part of new F1 contract

Written by  Jun 04, 2018

Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli claim they are willing to introduce a radically different and technologically advanced product into the sport as part of a new contract from 2020.

The Italian company has had a somewhat rollercoaster time in the sport since taking over from Bridgestone in 2011 with the high degradation compounds they used until 2016 often coming under scrutiny and then a feeling that they went too far the other way in 2017 when a new wider tyre proved very durable.

Now, with their current contract expiring at the end of next year and as new F1 owners Liberty Media look to overhaul the regulations for 2021, CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera has laid out his conditions to stay on.

“If the challenge continues to be technological, giving the teams and drivers what they want, then we are here to do it,” he was quoted by PlanetF1.

“If it becomes a commercial event, we will withdraw. The important thing is that the drivers are more and more at the centre."

Should Pirelli continue their stint as the sole supplier into the next decade, Provera also revealed a move from 13-inch wheels and the introduction of so-called 'smart tyres' would be on the table.

“We showed the 18 inches tyres three years ago [and] I think that if it helps the sporting aspect we are ready also with sensors,” he said to RaceFans, with those sensors embedded inside the tyre to provide real-time information, something that has already begun with their road products.

“We are open, obviously they have to find the right regulations and the teams [need to be] ready to adopt it.

"We obviously need testing cars. They have to develop [different] cars for 18-inch rims as the shock absorption between suspension and tyres, different shoulders, different sizes, everything has to be tested and it takes time.”

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Finally, Provera talked up the impact of the more aggressive tyres being used this year though is concerned by one thing.

“The competition this year is generally more lively, and that is good news,” he claimed. “But it is clear that with the increase in the performance of the cars, both with aerodynamics and the tyre, overtaking at narrow circuits has become practically impossible.”

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