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Pirelli keen to extend F1 tyre supply contract
Tuesday 07th August 2012, 11:45 by Ryan Wood
Pirelli is hoping to extend its current three-year contract, which expires next season, to supply Formula 1 with tyres.
The Italian company returned to the sport in 2011 and has been praised for its faster degrading tyres which have been highlighted as the reason for such a close season.
Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery told ESPNF1 that he hoped a decision would be made before the end of the current season as to whether the sport wanted Pirelli to remain sole supplier.
"We need to have a decision from the sport by June of next year, that's the closing date, although that's very late and in reality I think we need an indication before the end of this year," said Hembery.
"If the sport would like us to continue and if the overall conditions remain competitive and the sport has the vision that we think it has going forwards then it remains an attractive proposition for Pirelli."
Pirelli is pleased with how its F1 programme has gone according to Hembery who says the global audience, particularly the growth in Asia and the return to the US, fits with the companies objectives.
"We see great benefit in a sport that is genuinely global - in fact you struggle to think of any that are genuinely global every year," he added.
"F1 is a unique proposition from that point of view and that appeals to us as we're growing in regions like Asia and in countries like Russia and the USA. There seems to be a considerable effort from the organisers and the promoters to finally get the USA sorted and back on the map. These are all areas where we want to be seen to be present as a business, so it has a good fit with our business plan.
"The board at the moment are very happy, but of course things could change, the rules could change, costs might change substantially and those are all question marks that you always have to review. So when and if the sport wants us to continue and says it is happy with what we are doing, then we'll look at how we come to an agreement and if it makes sense and the return is still in line with the investment then we will be happy to go on."