• Tyre news

Pirelli warns it could quit Formula One

ESPN Staff
May 24, 2013 « Grosjean's confidence not affected by crash | Race pace 'surpisingly good' - Button »
Pirelli still doesn't have a contract for 2014 © Getty Images
Related Links

Pirelli has warned it could withdraw from Formula One at the end of the season, saying it is running out of time to receive confirmation that it will continue as the sport's tyre supplier and warned that there will come a point when it won't be able to get a tyre ready in time for 2014.

Pirelli has been negotiating with the teams since the start of the season, and while Hembery has never made a deadline for a decision public, during pre-season testing he said "I can't see us being here in June or July still talking about whether we are going to be in the sport". However, with no contract in place at the moment and brand new tyres needing to be engineered for the new regulations, Hembery said the situation was extremely serious.

"I've always said that we will never declare an internal deadline, but clearly time really is too late and things are getting, as far as we can see, extremely serious because the changes for next year are so substantial that the sport has to make a rapid decision," he said. "Aside from having the fixed resources in the business involved in Formula One, there is also a technical job we need to do as well. It's not a case of putting a harder compound on to this year's tyres that we'd probably need to do a thorough re-engineering of the tyre. So the longer this goes on, it makes our job impossible and there will come a point where you probably say we don't have time to do the job anymore."

Hembery said a tyre supplier is expected to provide teams with the details of the 2014 tyres by September.

"Apparently on September 1 we are meant to tell the teams all they need to know about the tyres for next season, but we are now in mid May so you can imagine how ludicrous that is when we haven't got contracts in place. Maybe we won't be here anyway."

Hembery said Pirelli is also facing challenges with the limited testing it will have ahead of next year.

"Assuming we have a contract for next year we are going into a year where we have some simulation data on how the engines will be, but the reality might be even more severe," he explained. "Even if we say we are going to be very cautious, we'd still like to be able to test a new solution at some stage during the early part of the season in 2014. We don't want to test on this year's car because it will be pointless, we want to test on an actual car, but we don't want to test on eleven cars, we don't need to test on eleven cars."