Pirelli wanted testing assurances before new F1 deal

Pirelli has revealed that it wanted guarantees over testing before committing to a new commercial deal with Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Shortly before the start of the Russian Grand Prix, Ecclestone revealed that he had agreed commercial terms with Pirelli for a new contract from 2017-2019.

It now just needs the FIA to rubber-stamp Pirelli's victory over Michelin in the F1 tyre tender battle.

Testing vital

Following months of discussions over the matter, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery explained that his company wanted assurances that it could get the track running it desired to develop its tyres in exchange for the big financial commitment it was making.

Speaking to Motorsport.com about the factors that finally won it the deal, Hembery said: "It is a monumental financial commitment.

"It is not something that any company can take lightly, and you have to understand every fact that was involved.

"There were some areas where we needed some assurances like testing - that we would be put in a condition where we could do our job.

"We have been given those assurances, even though we don't have the final solution as the rules are not set for 2017.

"So we don't know if we can test the new wider tyres on a modified actual car, or if it needs a hybrid car. So there are a lot of question marks still to cover there.

"But the concept of testing has passed and the need to have race drivers doing the testing and giving us clear input is also something that has been well understood."

Deal a formality

Despite Ecclestone's faith that the deal is done, Hembery has confirmed that the new contract will only become official when it is approved by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council.

He thinks, however, that such a rubber-stamp is a formality.

"There is still a formal process to go through with the FIA and it has to go to the WMSC for approval," he said.

"That is the closure of the loop, but it should really be a formality in that they have already given technical approval for us to supply.

"They have approved us technically. The next part was the commercial bit, and that has been been done too."

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news
Tags pirelli