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SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

Pirelli on cusp of new F1 deal

A huge sign that Pirelli is staying put as F1's official tyre supplier emerged on Wednesday.

Earlier, it was thought possible the Jean Todt-favoured Michelin could return to the sport next year, just as the contract of F1's controversial current supplier - Pirelli - expires.

But the Italian marque has already done deals with the eleven teams and Bernie Ecclestone's FOM organisation for 2014 and beyond, and FIA president Todt hinted at Monza that a new contract with the governing body is now likely.

And this week, the signs have grown even stronger.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said Pirelli is "about to sign" a new five-year deal with the FIA, which will cement its place in formula one beyond 2013.

Correspondent Michael Schmidt said sources at both Pirelli and the FIA are confirming that news.

Schmidt said Todt seemed to walk away from what would have been F1's shock and highly controversial switch to Michelin just as David Ward announced he is taking on the Frenchman for the FIA presidency.

So now, on Wednesday, it emerged that Pirelli has extended its contract to supply tyres to the F1 feeder categories, GP2 and GP3.

Series CEO Bruno Michel said: "It has always been our philosophy to use the same tyre supplier as F1's."

Not only that, the next GP2 champion will win a day of Pirelli tyre testing in a formula one car, Michel revealed.