APRIL 18, 2013
Hankook looking at F1 tyre supplier deal
Hankook, a South Korean company, has emerged as an alternative official tyre supplier for formula one.
Currently the subject of intense criticism of its heavily-degrading 2013 product, F1's official supplier Pirelli has said it wants to stay on the grid beyond its initial three-year tender that runs out at the end of the season.
But the Italian marque's F1 chief Paul Hembery said last week that Pirelli is nervous it has not yet been offered a new deal for 2014 and beyond.
"We cannot remain in such a situation of uncertainty," he warned.
When Pirelli was given the nod to enter F1 for the 2011 season, another major contender for the contract was Hankook.
At the time, the Korean company's chief Hyan Bum Cho said he had negotiated personally with Bernie Ecclestone.
"We had a very good talk and maybe we'll have a shot for next term, or another term," he said in late 2010.
The source Italiaracing is now reporting rumours that Hankook is once again a possible alternative to Pirelli for formula one in 2014 and beyond.
For now, Hembery is unable to say if Pirelli is definitely committed beyond November's Interlagos finale.
"We want to know as soon as possible if we are continuing to be the supplier," he is quoted as saying, "as it also depends on the regulations.
"We are interested in F1 in the medium term, but only as long as there is a way to have it make financial sense."