APRIL 20, 2013
Pirelli denies 2014 deal finalised
Paul Hembery has in Bahrain denied Bernie Ecclestone's claim that a new deal for Pirelli is "all done" for 2014.
The Italian marque's initial three-year contract is up at the end of the season, and motor sport boss Hembery has said his Pirelli chiefs are nervous about the delay over a new deal.
F1 chief executive Ecclestone told journalists in Bahrain on Friday, however, that "from our side it (a 2014 deal) is all done".
"Well, it's all done then from his side," Hembery laughed, denying the interpretation of Ecclestone's comments.
"It's ongoing," he insisted.
Hembery hinted that Pirelli needs the terms of the new deal to reflect "what's going on in the European automotive business in particular".
"Sales were ten per cent down in March in the overall market," he said. "That impacts heavily on us and we're currently having to make action plans to address those challenges."
Another factor weighing on the decision could be the loud and often harsh criticism of Pirelli's heavily-degrading 2013 tyres, which the company has argued were only produced because F1 bosses wanted to spice up the sport.
But Rubens Barrichello, in Bahrain as a commentator for Brazilian television Globo, backed the decision to use F1 tyres for entertainment value.
"They made a choice," he told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
"You could say the races are less technical, but they are undeniably more exciting and unpredictable."