There must have been a sigh of relief when Pirelli announced it is still committed to continuing as the official tyre supplier to the World Rally Championship, despite joining the race to supply tyres for Formula One.
The Italian tyres manufacturer, which is coming to the end of a three-year deal to supply control tyres to the World Rally Championship and support championships, has joined Michelin and Avon in bidding to replace Bridgestone as the official tyre supplier to F1 next season.
However, Pirelli has also submitted a tender for the next three-year WRC deal, which is currently being considered by the FIA: world motorsport’s governing body.
Pirelli has indicated its intention to tender for the Formula One tyre supply deal by 9 May – the date of the Spanish Grand Prix – following Bridgetone’s decision to stand down as official supplier.
But a Pirelli spokesman confirmed that the company’s aspirations in Formula One did not necessarily spell an end to its involvement in rallying.
He said: “We currently have no intention of leaving the WRC. We consider both projects entirely separately and evaluate them both on their individual values and benefits.”
Pirelli has been the official supplier to the World Rally Championship since 2008, and has been involved in the sport since the series started in 1973.
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team