Pirelli and FIA close to signing F1 contract extension

The FIA and Pirelli are poised to conclude within days the finalisation of the tyre supply contract for the next three seasons in Formula 1

Pirelli and FIA close to signing F1 contract extension

Although Pirelli was confirmed as the supplier from 2017 through to 2019 by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone in October, six months later a deal has yet to be signed between motorsport's world governing body and the Italian manufacturer.

With the regulations changing considerably from 2017, and Pirelli being tasked to produce very specific rubber in terms of characteristics and performance, it is demanding certain guarantees in the contract before signing.

FIA F1 race director Charlie Whiting explained: "It's not unusual for a contract to be delayed like this, and we're still some way before 2017.

"Pirelli wanted the targets they were asked to achieve to be put into the contract.

"They wanted more specific items in the contract regarding testing.

"They want a guarantee of testing because if we are going to set them targets then they want the tools with which to achieve those targets.

"Everything else is sorted. They just want this guarantee of testing put into the regulations to have a little more comfort.

"They also want the possibility to test a previous spec of car, so it's all achievable in the short term."

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery concedes time is now of the essence if the company is to have tyres ready to go pre-season testing with next February.

"This week I believe everything will need to be resolved," Hembery told Autosport.

"We're out of time now, but we're very close. We've had a lot of collaboration in trying to do this.

"It's a difficult world to work in, and within those constraints of the Formula 1 system, I believe we are drawing to a close to get something that will work for everybody.

"Everybody has worked extremely hard, and as ever we've worked very well with Charlie and his team."

Hembery has reiterated the fact Pirelli is faced with numerous complexities going into 2017 that require resources, time and testing.

"We're being asked to make a dramatic change in not only the dimensional side of the tyre, but also the characteristics and performance," he added.

"The drivers have given us a clear indication they want a certain characteristic from the tyre, which we're happy to do, but to do that we need to perform our work.

"Our season doesn't start in Melbourne [2017]. Our season starts after Abu Dhabi in November [this year], and now we're in April.

"We need to be able to do our job, we've asked for certain things to be done for us to do that.

"They're very quick to criticise, but you also need to put us in a position to be able to deliver what we have been asked."

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