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Pirelli keen to extend F1 tyre supply deal

Pirelli tyres.
© XPB 

Pirelli Motorsport wants to see its exclusive deal to supply tyres to Formula 1 extended.

The Italian manufacturer has been the sport's tyre provider since 2011. Its current arrangement still has two seasons to run, and doesn't expire until the end of 2019.

“We are happy with the current situation, this is not a mystery,” the company's motorsport chief Mario Isola told RACER magazine this month.

"We want to continue," he stated. "It depends on many factors of course. But yes, we’re happy."

“I believe there is the usual process with the tender that means they need to take a decision this year,” he explained. "I’m not in a position to tell you if it’s June or September or when, but [it will be this year] for sure.

“If there is a new manufacturer coming then they need time to develop a product," Isola pointed out. "If we continue then it is clearly less of a problem."

Pirelli is introducing two new compounds to its range of slick tyres for 2018. The pink hypersoft and orange superhard bring the number of available options to seven.

The company's chief executive officer Marco Tronchetti Provera has already spoken of his positive view of the current Formula 1 arrangement.

"Our big boss Mr Tronchetti told the media that we are happy with Formula 1," Isola confirmed.

However, Isola admitted that he would like more information from Liberty Media regarding their plans for the sport's future.

“We are working a lot with them," he said. “We are very interested to understand what the plans are of the new owners for Formula 1

"There were a lot of discussions on future plans."

In the past, some of these discussions have led to sharp exchanges in public between Pirelli and the sport's representatives. Isola was quick to play down any such disagreement.

"It’s difficult for them," he said. "Sometimes the criticism is a little bit too much, in my opinion.

"It’s easy to criticize, but it’s not easy to make things happen."

Earlier this month, Pirelli confirmed that its 2018 development program would rely on the participation of all current teams.

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