APRIL 23, 2010
Pirelli joins potential F1 tyre suppliers
Pirelli's has approved a feasibility study into returning to the F1 arena it left at the end of the 1991 season with 42 victories to its name.
FIA president Jean Todt said in Bahrain that there was more than one option available when it came to replacing Bridgestone, which is pulling out of F1 at the end of this season after being sole tyre supplier for four seasons.
Other companies to have tabled an interest include Michelin, which withdrew from F1 at the end of 2006 and did not tender for the sole supply deal, saying that it was only interested in F1 if there was competition. The French company has now signalled interest in a return but is understood to want better commercial terms than previously and a rule structure allowing it to demonstrate tyre efficiency.
Avon Cooper has also pitched for the F1 business, while Pirelli, which won the first GP of the modern world championship at Silverstone in May 1950, is evaluating a return for the first time since 1991, when it scored the last of its victories in Canada. Nelson Piquet famously took full advantage in his Benetton after Nigel Mansell lost his engine when the software was believed to have stopped the car on the final lap as Mansell let the revs drop while waving to the crowd!
Goodyear is the most successful F1 tyre company ever, with 368 wins; with Bridgestone on 125; Michelin, 102; Dunlop, 83; Firestone, 49; Pirelli, 42; Continental & Englebert 10.