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Pirelli needs 2014 deal 'sooner rather than later'

ESPN Staff
February 28, 2013 « Live F1 testing from Barcelona | 'We're not on our own out front' - Webber »
Pirelli's current contract expires at the end of the year © Sutton Images
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Pirelli says it needs a new tyre-supply deal "sooner rather than later" and has made clear that it can't wait until the summer to find out whether it will continue in 2014.

2013 is the third and final year of Pirelli's current contract with Formula One and it is in the process of negotiating new terms with the teams and the sport. The Italian tyre company says progress is being made but has also warned that it needs a reasonable period of notice in order to decide where it should allocate resources.

"Any negotiations or things to do with contracts take time," Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said. "That's the phase we're in but progress is being made and we hope to see some definitive answers in the near future. I can't give you a date because these things take a long time, but clearly I can't see us being here in June or July still talking about whether we are going to be in the sport. That really does start to become impossible."

Hembery reiterated that Pirelli needs to have a timely decision in order to reallocate members of its F1 team in 2014 should it leave the sport.

"As you can imagine we employ quite a lot of people and we do need to know as a company at some point what we are meant to be doing," he said. "Talks are ongoing and we are making some progress. We don't have any final solutions yet but that has to happen sooner rather than later, for sure."