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McLaren assuming Pirelli will stay in 2014

ESPN Staff
September 4, 2013 « Mercedes applying Spa's lessons to Monza | McLaren not in permanent decline - Button »
McLaren is designing its 2014 car on the assumption Pirelli will stay in the sport © Sutton Images

McLaren is designing its 2014 car around Pirelli tyres based on the assumption that the Italian supplier will not be replaced by Michelin next year.

Michelin has made clear that it is interested in the Formula One supply deal and the sport is waiting on the FIA to announce whether the contract will be put out to tender. Pirelli has contracts with most the teams and the commercial rights holder and has started to develop its 2014 tyres.

McLaren sporting director Sam Michael said his team is working on the assumption that Pirelli will remain in the sport and has designed its car accordingly.

"It's not really an issue for us at this point because we're assuming it will be Pirelli and engaging with them technically," he said. "If that changes, then like anything in F1 you would adapt, because F1 is all about change management. Right now, we are fully down the road of designing our car around Pirelli tyres, assuming that is what it is going to be."

Michael said a comprehensive rethink would be necessary if a new tyre supplier is appointed.

"There are some main areas that it affects and the first order is the wind tunnel because it affects the tyre profile in both CFD and the wind tunnel. But also it affects suspension geometry and set-up as well. It affects us very little at the moment because we are assuming its Pirelli."