GENEVA (June 23, 2010) — The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile's (FIA) World Motor Sport Council has selected Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. as the single-source tire supplier for its Formula 1 world championship and GP2 championship the 2011-2013 seasons.
Pirelli won the F1 contract over a competing bid from Group Michelin and will succeed Bridgestone Corp. as both the F1 and GP2 supplier.
Details of the F1 contract, disclosed in notes from a Motor Sport Council meeting in Geneva on June 23, were not disclosed, other than to say, “The sole supplier will undertake to strictly respect the sporting and technical regulations implemented by the FIA.”
Pirelli said it won the F1 contract based on its specific proposals “to guarantee technical and operational stability to the competitors.” The tire maker said it agreed to provide teams with six types of tires—four slick versions with different compounds for various types of dry surfaces, one rain tire for heavy rain and one intermediate tire for damp conditions or light rain.
The contract was ratified by the FIA, the Formula One Teams Association and Formula One Management, the sport's organizing body.
Although the parties did not disclose the contract's terms, Pirelli said: “The current economic climate has led to a realistic and collaborative approach with all the teams, ensuring that manufacturing and logistical costs are shared fairly.”
Pirelli will take over the contract from Bridgestone Corp., which has been the single tire supplier for Formula 1 for the past four seasons. Pirelli previously was an F1 tire supplier on at least two occasions in the past, the last time from 1988-91.
Pirelli also said it will supply the GP2 World Series—the acknowledged stepping-stone to Formula 1—for the 2011-13 seasons.
At the same time, Pirelli likely will be relieved of its status as the single tire supplier for the FIA's World Rally Championship. Starting in 2011, the FIA proposes to again allow open competition among tire makers, although the World Motorsport Council said regulations will be implemented to control costs. It did not clarify what that might entail.
The proposal will be voted on by the full Motor Sports Council before July 20.
The FIA Junior World Rally Championship will continue with a single tire supplier; Pirelli holds that status now.
Pirelli also is the spec tire supplier for the Grand-American Rolex endurance racing series through the end of this season and for the new GP3 single-seater series in Europe. It also supplies tires to the International Rallye Challenge—to competitors in the Le Mans Series and other various national racing series in Europe.
Pirelli said it is planning to make “important investments” in corporate communications to support its new role as the supplier of Formula 1, using resources and budget that has already been set aside for this purpose.
This communications campaign will principally help to support Pirelli's increasing profile in emerging markets: Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, which are all areas frequently visited by Formula 1.
Pirelli will provide further details on the supply agreement at a press conference to be held this weekend at the Grand Prix of Europe in Valencia, Spain.