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SBD Global/January 10, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Pirelli Looks To Extend Contract As Official Tire Supplier Of F1

Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli "has confirmed its desire to continue in F1 beyond its current contract," which is due to expire at the end of this year, according to Mat Coch of PIT PASS. Pirelli Motorsports Dir Paul Hembery said that "the company is ready to submit a formal proposal to the teams after months of preliminary discussions." Returning to F1 in '11 as the sole tire supplier, the Italian company "was subject of heavy criticism" before being credited with helping reinvigorate the sport. Hembery said, "We've had two very exciting seasons, and we feel we've contributed our bit to that, which is what we were asked to do. As a company we are interested in going forward." While "outwardly happy with the product and show Pirelli has delivered, there are rumblings that some are not entirely satisfied with the current financial arrangement." Pirelli's deal, which sees teams pay a figure in the region of $3M a year for its rubber, "is in contrast to previous supply contracts" when many teams received their tires for free. Pirelli is understood to have "scoffed at the notion it should offer a similar deal." It is believed the teams' contribution barely covers the tire company's logistics, Pirelli's F1 operation runs at a loss, written off for its marketing benefits (PIT PASS, 1/8).
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