Amid rumors of a departure from Formula 1 After the end of the next tire supply contract, the head of operations at Pirelli, Mario Isolastated that it is “too early to decide” the Italian brand’s future in the category.
Recently, the FIA and Formula 1 approved Pirelli’s victory in the tender for the exclusive supply of tires for the category for the period from 2024 to 2027, with the option of renewal for 2028.
Pirelli, which has been supplying tires to F1 exclusively since 2011, had to win this time a serious bid from Bridgestone, which was betting on the use of “innovative technologies” to guarantee its return to F1.
However, the announcement was accompanied by rumors that this could be Pirelli’s last contract in F1, paving the way for the entry of a new tire supplier from 2028/2029.
But, in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com During an event in the capital of São Paulo during F1 week, Pirell’s head of operations, Mario Isola, said that the Italian brand has not yet decided on its future.
“We are talking about 2027 with the possibility of extension to 2028, so we are very happy with our presence in F1. At the end of this contract it will be 17 or 18 years, it’s a long time.”
“I don’t know if the company intends to continue, but I believe the company has a strong presence in motorsport, in more than 230 championships, and that’s just talking about car racing.”
“I don’t exclude the possibility that we will continue, I would say it is too early to decide.”
During this period, Pirelli followed several changes in F1, having to adapt to the new reality of the category, with a major limitation on development tests.
“It’s difficult, especially when we have a big change in our product like last year, when we went from [pneus] rim 13 to 18. For us it ends up being better, because it is a more representative technology, a better transfer from the tracks to the streets”.
“Thanks to F1 and the teams, we were able to develop the tires with several virtual tools. Basically we have a virtual model of the car, which was developed together with the teams. Now we have this know-how In the company, we can use this application in other categories.”
“We also try to reduce testing as much as possible for other reasons, such as sustainability.”
In this contract that begins next year, Pirelli will have the challenge of developing tires for the new generation of cars, which will enter the tracks from 2026. And the work becomes even greater due to the lack of definition of the technical regulations, which leaves a Doubt about what size these tires will be.
“We recently renewed the contract and we are very happy with it because we had strong competition, and it was important for us to continue. F1 is always a work in progress, we learn every day.”
“We need to provide the same product to everyone, the same technical assistance, the same information. I mentioned sustainability, and in 2026 they are planning a new car and probably a new tire size, which would be a new challenge for us.”
“We are involved in the Advisory Committee and other meetings that define the future of F1. This is important because we don’t just want to be suppliers: we want to be partners, and that means that in the past we have accepted challenges like high degradation tires, which was a request from F1.”
“It was a strange request, but it means that we have developed the technology and can control the degradation, the performance, the delta back between the compounds and, with that, we have a better show, more action on the track, and that is what we are looking for ”.
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