MAY 24, 2015
Pirelli ready to push for 2017 contract
Pirelli has confirmed its intention to try to stay in formula one beyond next year.
F1's governing body has now officially launched the 2017-2019 tender, and it appears that Pirelli - the sport's sole supplier since 2011 - will face off for the privilege against Michelin.
The early rumour is that the French marque Michelin, last in F1 in competition with Bridgestone in 2006, is so keen to return now as sole supplier that it may even be willing to supply its tyres to teams free of charge.
"I don't think we should start now saying the word 'free'," Marco Tronchetti Provera, the Pirelli chief executive, was quoted by Italian reporters in Monaco.
He made his rare appearance in the paddock to confirm Pirelli's intention to meet the 2017 tender deadline of mid-June.
But Provera warned that Pirelli is not willing to stay in F1 at any cost.
He is unconvinced, for example, that the proposal to allow teams to freely choose their two compounds at each grand prix is right.
"These are things that should be discussed with the FIA and FOM to avoid creating unnecessary expectations," he insisted.
"Some new ideas have been raised -- some go in the right direction, while others need to be considered.
"F1 must be technology, safety and performance," the Pirelli chief declared.