Confirmed – Pirelli to Supply F1
The cat’s been out of the bag for a couple of weeks, but now it is official – as of next year, Pirelli will serve as official exclusive tyre supplier to the Formula One championship. The Italian manufacturer will supply all F1 teams from 2011 to 2013 and supply six types of tyre: four for dry weather, one for rain and one intermediate tyre.
Pirelli, sole tyre supplier for the GP3 championship this year, will also exclusively supply the GP2 championship as of 2011. Thus its F1 and GP2 supply agreements join a respectable list of motorsport participation that includes the World Rally Championship, the World Superbike Championship, Rolex Sports Car Series in North America, Motocross World Championship and several other national championships for both cars and bikes.
According to the tyre maker, the FIA, the racing teams (represented by FOTA) and Formula One’s organising body (represented by FOM) chose Pirelli as exclusive supplier based on the Italian firm’s specific proposals to guarantee technical and operational stability for the competitors. Following current F1 regulations laid down by the FIA, the new contract ensures that Pirelli will provide teams with four slicks with different compounds for various types of dry surfaces, one rain tyre for heavy rain, and one intermediate tyre for damp conditions or light rain.
In announcing its confirmation as tyre supplier, Pirelli notes that 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.” The company also states that its return to Formula One also has a “firm eye on the future” – by this it means that, in collaboration with the various racing teams, it will conduct research into new tyre development and innovations.
Supply to the GP2 World Series also covers the 2011 to 2013 seasons. Pirelli says this latest participation at the highest levels of single-seater racing makea a “welcome addition” to its other motorsport activities, which as of this year include tyre supply to the inaugural GP3 series.
Pirelli shares that it plans to make “important investments in corporate communications” in order to take advantage of the high profile and cutting-edge technology that go hand in hand with F1 tyre supply. To meet this end the company says it will use resources and budget already set aside for this purpose. Any such Formula One themed communication campaigns are primarily intended to help support Pirelli’s increasing profile in the emerging: Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific markets, all of which are areas frequently visited by Formula One. In this way, Pirelli sees F1 taking on the role of a “vital calling card for the Pirelli brand,” helping its commercial and industrial expansion without disrupting the company’s long-term financial strategy.
“The global visibility guaranteed through extensive media interest in Formula One, together with dynamic plans to leverage Pirelli’s involvement in an activity central to the company’s core business, represents a unique opportunity for the brand to maximise its return on investment,” said Pirelli in a press statement.