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Hankook rules out F1 in 2014

ESPN Staff
June 3, 2013 « Monaco was just a blip - Boullier | Mercedes preparing for reality check in Canada »
Hankook is not targeting Formula One next year © Sutton Images

Hankook has said it would not be possible for it to become a tyre supplier in Formula One next season.

F1's current supplier, Pirelli, is without a contract for 2014 and has warned it could be forced to quit the sport if a deal is not signed soon. Hankook has been rumoured as a possible replacement after its success supplying DTM, but the company's DTM competition engineer Michael Eckert said it simply wouldn't be possible for his Hankook to be ready for F1 next year.

"For 2014, it's completely impossible not only because of the lack of tyre development time," he told Autosport. "Even if Hankook wants to take three, four, five years to jump into Formula One as a supplier, the lack of testing opportunities would make it impossible. With the current cars and drivers, it's impossible [to test] so you need to find a suitable number of vehicles and drivers that would allow you to get some reliable feedback."

Realistically, Eckert thinks it would take three years to develop a Formula One tyre

"Even if we started this year with the first tyre test, it would take easily three years until you can finish a safe and performing F1 tyre," he said. "Now the regulations are changing; engine formula, chassis, and aerodynamics... nobody even knows about the dimensions of the tyres for 2014 - they are still not fixed. It's not 100% certain they'll continue with 13-inch tyres. It might be 15 or even 17. It could happen in the next five years that F1 cars are on 18-inch tyres."