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Pirelli hoping for 2014 decision in first quarter

ESPN Staff
January 24, 2013 « Lotus to launch on January 28 | F1 return 'not just a dream' - Kubica »
Pirelli is willing to continue in 2014 © Sutton Images

Pirelli would like a decision on whether it will continue in Formula One by the end of the first financial quarter of this year.

Pirelli's current three-year contract will expire at the end of the 2013 season and the Italian company has made clear it is keen to continue under the right set of terms. Motorsport director Paul Hembery said his company would really need to find out by the end of March if it is going to have its contract extended because of the amount of people involved in the F1 operation.

"We'd like it [a decision] early in the year," Hembery told ESPN. "We have a lot of people involved in the F1 project, probably more than even the teams understand, so if you're not going forward you need to know relatively early so that you can start reallocating resources to other activities. We would certainly want to be knowing if we're staying within the first quarter really."

Hembery said the key to a new contract would be agreeing terms with the commercial rights holder.

"It's a two way thing between the commercial rights holder and the teams," he said. "The FIA we hope would have been pleased with the quality and integrity of our product. Their main concern would be in areas of safety and transparency, but we've not had any issues with that. It really is between the commercial rights holder and the teams themselves."

From a technical side, Hembery said Pirelli would have to make changes to the tyres to adapt to the new engine regulations in 2014 but that his company is willing to take on the challenge.

"[It would not require] a huge technical rethink, no," he added. "The risk is probably in the area of traction because they are talking about having more torque than the current engines and maybe that would increase wear and overheating. But until we see more details of how the cars are going to be it's hard for us to comment. I'm sure it would be a very exciting first season when we have all those changes together."