The Formula One motorsport series has extended its global tyre supply deal with Pirelli for four years until 2023.
The new contract, which kicks in at the start of the 2020 season, ends several months of speculation over whether the Milan-based company would choose to renew its deal ahead of the new technical regulations expected for 2021. Korea’s Hankook was also reportedly interested in becoming Formula One’s sole tyre partner.
Pirelli’s new deal, which was agreed in conjunction with the International Automobile Federation (FIA), includes a commitment to switch from 13 to 18-inch wheels from 2021, requiring lower-profile tyres more in line with those used on road cars.
The extension will take Pirelli’s relationship with Formula One up to at least 13 years after it returned to replace Bridgestone in 2011.
“Pirelli have been an important and valued partner to Formula One since 2011,” said Formula One chairman and chief executive Chase Carey. “They are leaders in providing innovative state of the art capabilities. They are a premium brand, a clear global leader in motorsport and our ongoing partnership with them is proof once more of our desire to align Formula One with the best in motorsport and beyond.”
“Formula One is and will remain the pinnacle of motorised competition: the perfect environment for Pirelli, which has always defined motorsport as its most advanced technological research and development laboratory,” added Pirelli vice president and chief executive Marco Tronchetti Provera.
“Formula One provides the perfect showcase for our ultra-high performance road car tyres, which equip the world’s most desirable prestige and premium vehicles to guarantee the highest standards of performance, sustainability and safety.”
News of the deal coincided with the last Grand Prix of the 2018 Formula One season, which saw already-crowned champion Lewis Hamilton cruise to victory in Abu Dhabi.