F1 not ruling out future tyre war
By Ian Parkes
Wednesday 11th October, 2023 - 10:15am
F1 CEO Stefano Domencali has not dismissed the prospect of the sport again enjoying a future tyre war between rival manufacturers.
You have to go back to 2006 for the last time F1 teams had a choice between tyre suppliers when Michelin and Bridgestone went head to head.
Following Michelin’s withdrawal, F1 has since only had one manufacturer, with Bridgestone continuing through to 2010 before Pirelli took over in 2011.
The Italian company is to continue through to the end of 2027 after signing a new supply contract, with an option to continue in 2028.
The belief is this latest agreement is likely to be Pirelli’s last, paving the way for a new supplier, or potentially more than one if F1 wanted to add a further layer of entertainment to its show.
Asked by Speedcafe about the possibility of F1 having two tyre manufacturers again go up against one another as in the past, Domenicali said: “As you know, that point (of one supplier) was taken, together with the FIA, to make sure we were able to control the cost of the ecosystem of Formula 1.
“That was the main reason we moved from the car competition, when we had a lot of testing, where we had a lot of mileage, and where there was a lot of research, that was really beneficial, but the cost was really massive.
“It is too premature to consider that this could be a possibility for the future, but in terms of the actual situation where cost control is very relevant, I would say we haven’t decided for sure.
“It is not yet on the agenda to see if this could be a possibility in the future, but it’s a point of relevancy because in the future if you’re able to control the different mechanisms of the costs, why not?
“But so far, it is not on the agenda of the discussions, together with the FIA, and with the teams.”
From Pirelli’s perspective, executive vice-president Marco Tronchetti Provera is adamant his company would not be afraid of any competition in F1 given it is not alone in other series.
“It is important to underline that Pirelli is participating, and is part of, more than 300 championships around the world in the motorsport business,” said Tronchetti Provera.
“In most of them, there are also other suppliers, and we are happy to compete with other suppliers, so it is never an issue for us.
“For us, there has always been an opportunity, competing with others as we do, providing tyres for the prestige cars, the premium cars, and we are very happy because it’s an opportunity to prove our technology.”