By Adam Cooper, Crain News Service
DUBROVNIK, Croatia (Sept. 27, 2013) — Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. will continue as the sole provider of tires for the Formula 1 Series in 2014, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has confirmed, putting an end to any speculation about a return for Group Michelin.
At the same time, the FIA made the point that the governing body, rather than Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, has the ultimate say on such deals. There had been some debate on who was really charged with making those decisions.
A statement said, "One of the noteworthy aspects of the new 2013 Concorde Agreement is the new tender procedure for appointing single suppliers in the tire and fuel categories, for the FIA F1 World Championship.
"In this new process, the FIA will be confirmed as the body in charge of conducting the tender process. The Commercial Rights Holder will be entitled to run the commercial negotiations with potential suppliers, with a view to the selected single supplier being officially appointed by the WMSC.
"In order to cover the transition period and considering the contracts already settled by FOM and the teams with Pirelli, the WMSC today confirmed that Pirelli may continue to supply tires to competitors in the FIA F1 World Championship, subject to the requisite technical and safety standards of the FIA being met."
The reference to a sole fuel supplier is something of a surprise given that so many teams have significant deals with major oil companies.
Pirelli also was confirmed recently as the sole race tire supplier for for the GP2 and GP3 single-seat, open-wheel racing series — both "feeder series" for Formula 1 — for "multiple" seasons.
Pirelli has supplied the GP3 series since 2010 and GP2 since 2011.
This report appeared on the website of Autoweek, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.