By Alex Kapadia
Pirelli have won the race to supply Formula One with tyres from the start of the next season, according to Italian media sources.
The Italian tyres manufacturer will be the sports sole tyre supplier from 2011, taking over from Bridgestone who are exiting F1 when their contract runs out at the end of the current season.
According to Autosprint and Italiaracing, Pirelli has been selected by the teams and F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, beating rivals Michelin, Avon, Kumho and Hankook to win the contract.
Earlier this week Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was asked to name is preference. He said: “As an Italian I prefer Pirelli, but experience tells me Michelin.
“In the end it will be the same for everyone,” he said in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Autosprint said Pirelli will be paid 1 million euros per team per season in 2011, 2012 and 2013, in exchange for identical attention and service and a range of just three compounds: soft, medium and hard.
According to the website Motorsport.com, the tyres will initially be in a similar 13-inch specification to the current Bridgestone product, with a longer-term ambition being a move to a low profile.
The decision is set to be confirmed shortly by the World Motor Sport Council.