One didn’t need to have a remedial grasp of the black art of tyre application to realize Paul Hembery’s zesty Facebook post might have pointed to some good news on the Pirelli front. Indeed, the Italian tyre manufacturer had in fact been confirmed as Formula One’s tyre supplier in 2014.
Despite signing various contracts during this year – including signage rights for the 2014 season – it was still unclear whether Pirelli would get the nod, especially given renewed interest from French suppliers Michelin. However. Michelin’s insistence on a tyre parameter regulation change meant it would be unlikely a switch to the French supplier would take place in the short term.
Regardless, it took until last Friday’s World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting for the FIA to finally approve Pirelli. A curious development given teams were due to be supplied with 2014-spec tyres in just a few days; that along with the furious work Pirelli had engaged in to make sure next year’s construction was a viable and acceptable product for all concerned.
“In order to cover the transition period and considering the contracts already settled by FOM and the Teams with Pirelli, the WMSC today confirmed that Pirelli may continue to supply tyres to competitors in the FIA F1 World Championship, subject to the requisite technical and safety standards of the FIA being met”, a statement from the WMSC read.
With a new, freshly signed Concorde Agreement in place, it is now understood that the FIA will now handle the appointments of tyre and fuel suppliers. Furthermore, the procedure for selection will now involve a tender process.
Details of the move were read out in a further statement from the World Motorsport Council.
“One of the noteworthy aspects of the new 2013 Concorde Agreement is the new tender procedure for appointing single suppliers in the tyre and fuel categories, for the FIA F1 World Championship. In this new process, the FIA will be confirmed as the body in charge of conducting the tender process. The Commercial Rights Holder will be entitled to run the commercial negotiations with potential suppliers, with a view to the selected single supplier being officially appointed by the WMSC.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic