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Pirelli's confidence growing over 2014 contract

ESPN Staff
June 28, 2013 « Massa disappointed in himself after FP2 shunt | Perez tyre issue not due to delamination »
Pirelli insists it has agreed terms with the teams © Sutton Images
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Pirelli is more confident about its future in Formula One after persuading its board to pursue a contract renewal and closing on agreements with all the teams for 2014.

Pirelli threatened to leave the sport at the Monaco Grand Prix and then became embroiled in the Mercedes testing affair, which saw it reprimanded by the FIA. Now Pirelli motor sport boss Paul Hembery is confident a deal for 2014 is close and believes he has agreements with all the teams and Bernie Ecclestone, if not the governing body just yet.

"The promoter is clearly on board, the majority of teams are now and I've spoken to all the other teams now and we are closing in on finishing that off. If we have got all the teams and promoter happy, then what else can we do?"

He insisted the company's appearance at the FIA's International Tribunal had not put Pirelli off the idea of staying in the sport, and that the board had actually warmed to the idea in recent weeks.

"We have had a lot of internal discussions obviously and we have had to decide what we are going to do," he added. "Thankfully we have managed to convince them to stay with it and we have got some good ideas going forward, with different things and different approaches, and we would like to do that.

"They are willing to invest going forward on a long term contract. You have periods, don't you, with little blips. So we've had a little blip and now we get back on with the racing."

However, Pirelli will have to deliver the basic concept of its 2014 tyres to the teams by September 1 and Hembery said that would be tough.

"We haven't really got any [car] models to work with. We've only had rough information and people telling us we are going to have wheelspin in fifth gear and that the torque curve will be almost vertical. Those things can create a lot of challenges and big surprises. We do know that there is going to be premium for traction and we do actually believe that the lap times won't be too distant from what we are seeing now and maybe even downforce levels are won't be as far away as people first thought. That means obviously that changes the challenge."