In an interview with Autosport today, Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery has stated that Pirelli are yet to receive and sign a contract for the supply of tyres for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Formula One Seasons.
During the 2015 season, the tyre supply was put out to tender with both Michelin and current tyre supplier Pirelli putting forward their proposals for consideration. After both passed the technical requirements proposed by the FIA, Bernie Ecclestone decided to avoid change and stay with Pirelli until the end of the 2019 season.
Ecclestone announced that Pirelli would once again be the sole supplier during the Russian Grand Prix weekend back in October 2015. In his interview Autosport today, he has stated that Pirelli are yet to receive any official contract and the FIA are yet to officially announce Pirelli will be sole supplier. Hembrey said the following:-
‘We’ve concluded the agreement with FOM, that was announced in Russia. The lawyers had to do their bit, which has all been confirmed. But we’re still awaiting a contract proposal from the FIA, which has not been forthcoming yet.’
When asked further on the subject today, Hembrey believes that he thought and expected the contract he added the following:-
‘We’d have expected it some time ago actually but we will see what happens over the next few months.’
Despite no contracts being signed and no official announcements made to the media, Pirelli and Hembery believe the situation will be resolved and as such they have continued on with the designs and plans for the 2017 season when the tyre sizes are due to increase to 18 inches. Hembrey added the following:-
‘We’re obviously moving ahead with plans to be in the sport in ’17. We’ve not had any indication as to why we wouldn’t be moving on. Having said that, there’s obviously that formal aspect where either party could walk away.’
It would be extremely surprising if FOM (Formula One Management) pulled out of the deal that they have arranged with Pirelli but as Murray Walker says anything can happen in Formula One and it usually does.