Pirelli confirmed as F1’s official tyre supplier for three more years

Formula 1

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The FIA and Formula 1 have confirmed Pirelli will continue as the world championship’s official tyre supplier for three more years beginning in 2025.

Pirelli will also continue to supply tyres for F1’s leading official support series, Formula 2 and Formula 3.

The FIA invited manufacturers to apply to become the three series’ tyre supplier in March. Pirelli is understood to have beaten a rival bid from previous tyre supplier Bridgestone.

Another former F1 tyre supplier, Michelin, declined to respond to the tender, saying it did not want to create a product which met the FIA’s requirement that it be designed to degrade in performance.

Pirelli has been F1’s official tyre supplier since 2011. During that time F1 has changed its tyre specification twice, widening the rubber in 2017, then moving from 13-inch wheels to 18-inch last year.

The new three-year deal will see Pirelli continue to provide tyres in the 2026 season when F1 is due to introduce new technical regulations again. It is yet to confirm whether this will include a change in its tyre specification.

The announcement comes three days after Pirelli announced it had discovered problems with its tyres at the Qatar Grand Prix. The FIA scheduled an extra practice session, revised the track limits at the Losail International Circuit and imposed a maximum stint length of 18 laps on drivers during Sunday’s grand prix in order to safeguard against any tyre failures.

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FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said “Pirelli has been operating at the top level of motor sport for many years and I am sure that they will continue to deliver innovation and excellence on the world stage.

“Formula 1 is a unique challenge for the tyre supplier, and Pirelli has demonstrated great commitment to producing tyres that meet the extreme demands of these incredible cars.”

F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali said Pirelli was “an invaluable partner” which had supported F1 “through new generations of technology and technical regulations and delivering tyres to enable fantastic racing for our fans.”

Pirelli said the tyres it uses in F1 next year will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, affirming the forests which yield material used in their production “are managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and brings benefits to the lives of local communities and workers, while fostering economic sustainability.”

Marco Tronchetti Provera, Pirelli’s executive vice-president, said the FSC certification demonstrates their “commitment to sustainability.”

“Pirelli was there when Formula 1 was born in 1950, and with this latest renewal, the firm will now be a protagonist throughout nearly two decades of the modern Formula 1 era,” he added. “Thanks to the impetus from Liberty Media and the support of the FIA, the sport is enjoying an extraordinary period of growth both in terms of audience and global expansion, increasing its following among younger generations as well.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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49 comments on “Pirelli confirmed as F1’s official tyre supplier for three more years”

  1. Worst outcome for everyone involved.

    No lie, but I was shopping for new All Weather tires a few months ago, and I immediately unticked all B-brands and Pirelli from the result list, because of how I perceive their quality of manufacturing.

    1. Agreed.

      I also had the misfortune of having P-Zeros on my Mustang, and they were like an old dog on ice. Useless.

      1. The solution is simple, do not use p zero’s on 🍦 ice

        1. Even better, stop using old dogs on ice as well

    2. Or you can make choices based on facts and reviews.
      For example through the great work of tyrereviews.com on YouTube aswell.

      Ironically Pirelli came in 2nd in this years normal summer tyre test.

    3. Pirelli actually make pretty good tires. I had a set on my road bike, they were grippy, managed the wet nicely and wore well.

      Honestly, you would say the same for any other tire supplier making designed to degrade rubber that we see currently on the F1 cars. Its just that F1 asks them to manufacture tires that are not up to the standards of what F1 should be. Like DRS, this is a symptom of engineering being so close together and the perceived need to keep the masses happy with on track passing.

      1. Coventry Climax
        10th October 2023, 22:01

        I had them on my Lotus, and they were Cee Ar A Pe.

      2. mog, I do recall a tyre engineer some time back mentioning to me that he thought that, in reality, the consumer grade tyres coming from most of the major manufacturers were actually not that far apart in terms of performance. In his opinion, the perceived differences in performance were often exaggerated by expectation biases on the part of the buyer, often as a consequence of what they were conditioned to expect based on advertising.

        We are, to some extent, seeing that here with the way that some individuals here talk about their own perceptions of tyre performance and how emotional biases have, to some extent, influenced their choices. Individuals here talk about how, for example, they believe that Michelin is great because of their perception of how the tyres perform in the World Endurance Championship.

        However, if you were to go over to MotoGP, Michelin has faced frequent criticism over the performance of their tyres for years. For example, a particularly strong criticism that started last year was over the strict high minimum tyre pressures Michelin was insisting on, with the riders complaining that the front tyres tended to overheat so rapidly when behind another rider that the tyre pressures tended to skyrocket and cause the tyre performance to drop off rapidly – does that sound familiar as a complaint?

        If you bias your opinion towards the WEC and the way that Michelin is portrayed there, you would think that they are a wonderful manufacturer. However, if you were to bias your opinion towards MotoGP and how Michelin is portrayed there, you’d think that they were a terrible manufacturer.

        It’s exactly the same company that’s involved in both cases, but you’d likely develop very different expectations of how good or bad their products are likely to be based on those series and interpret the behaviour of their tyres in different ways as a result.

        1. Interesting note about MotoGP; wasn’t aware Michelin had some issues there. Like you say, they’re doing very well in endurance racing and obviously also had the better of Bridgestone after a few years in F1.

          Most road tyres from the major manufacturers (and usually their subsidiaries) are indeed on par, with minor difference one way or another. For example, Bridgestone and Vredestein all season tyres are usually prefered in countries with mild but wet winters, whereas Continental and Michelin usually get the nod when frequent but non-permanent snow is likely.

          Budget tyres, though, can add a lot of meters to braking distances and should be avoided whenever possible.

        2. I agree with you and the engineer. Bought some Ohtsu yonks ago (wife is Japanese thought she’d be impressed I found some Japanese tyres), but was completely disinterested).Locals didn’t know much about them (few tyre sellers said they’re OK but don’t wear well), but they were dirt cheap and they ordered them in for me.
          Went pretty much went where I pointed it wet or dry and stopped “on demand” , didn’t lose traction or skid , suited my driving style and local conditions I guess. Then re-launched here as Falken. Still worked well but prices went a bit silly. Forget brand loyalty or pretending to pull the visor down. Bit of experimentation and ended up with Yoko’s (out of Philippines I think) and happy with them . So whatever floats your boat.

  2. Given the remit, I’m shocked any tyre manufacturer want this contract.

  3. @sjaakfoo out of curiosity, I’m wondering what brands you’re considering.

    Good year and Micheline were very similar to Pirellin when they had their chance in F1.

    Also, I agree that this is not the best outcome. Having several tire providers would have been better.

    Competition level things up. While monopoly leads mediocrity (among other things)

    1. I don’t know if I agree with your assessment on Goodyear and Michelin especially. Yes, Michelin had an issue one time in the US GP in 2005, but other than that they performed just fine. Of course, there’s a difference in tire development and requirements during that time and current times. Pirelli aren’t competing with other manufacturers to be the quickest either, so there’s no reason why their tires can’t be build to last within the parameters set.

      But with all that said, it’s not necessarily a factual thing, it’s a perception thing. Pirelli comes off as poor quality through what they offer in F1. Is it their fault at all? Maybe not, maybe somewhat. But it doesn’t matter, because in my brain it now goes “Pirelli = poor construction” and I don’t know if that’s true for their consumer grade products or not (I did check reviews of course, so not entirely through, but you get what I mean).

      As for which tire I ended up with, I got some nice Bridgestone’s Weather Control A005 on my car now. The alternate option was a set of Michelin’s, given I have good experiences with the brand previously, but those were more expensive and the Bridgestone’s have better braking performance in wet conditions, which is the most applicable use for them in my region.

      1. “ so not entirely true”*

        My life for an edit button.

      2. I would select also Bridgestone (or Michelin) for my all weather tyre i would pass on Pirelli because a nice weather company can’t make a GOOD rain tyre.

      3. @sjaakfoo not to defend Pirelli but FiA and F1 management has to do a lot with all this mess.

        I think Pirelli builds what comes as a requirement rather than the opposite. And the fact the they have no competition makes things worse.

        I also agree, Pirelli is not tier A brand. At least perception wise. They have also dropped the ball, to say the least, several times (Baku 2021 )

        Funny enough I go Bridgestone too. I think they have the best mix between quality/price.

        1. The issue with Pirelli isn’t the general F1 tyre as such, but rather the long list of unexplained issues (always blamed on debris), the constant failure to increase the operating window, the high pressures that need to be enforced, and the way in which their tyres fail, or rather, collapse – with some serious crashes as a result. That is worrisome because it points at company issues not specific to F1.

          I also deselected Pirelli from my list instantly, and eventually got a set of Goodyear tyres.

        2. I think Pirelli builds what comes as a requirement rather than the opposite.

          I think the requirement specified by the FIA is a degradation in the grip
          The failures in previous seasons were largely side wall failures while the tread was still giving an acceptable grip, otherwise the teams would have called the drivers in for new set. Some other failures were delamination.
          Both failure types point to shoddy construction rather than a grip loss from accelerated tread aging.

      4. SjaakFoo, you ask “is it their fault?” to which I would say “yes”. The only reason they are in F1 is because they want to advertise their tyres. It doesn’t matter if an F1 tyre is nothing like a road car tyre. They want people buy their road tyres becuase of their association with F1, so if they are signing up to regulations which require them to make tyres which “drop off the cliff” at a certain point then yes, it is entirely their fault ifwe now have a very negative perception.

    2. When Michelin and Goodyear were both in F1, one of the interesting fetures was that there were some tracks where Michelins clearly worked better, and other tracks where Goodyear clearly had the upper hand, which all helped add variablility to cars and gave different options for designers to consider. The problem with a highly regulated series where all the cars are virtually identical, same tyres, same engine electronics, same fuel consumption rates, etc, is that if one team finds an advantage of just, say, 0.1s per lap in the engine, they become a dominant car at all tracks for many races to come and that is not good for the sport. Back when we had tyre competition, Ron Dennis (the boss of McLaren at the time) said that understanding tyre development was probably the main reason F1 cars had improved so much during that era. NOt entines, not aero, tyres.

  4. Oh good. They’ve done such a stellar job to date, after all.

    /s

  5. Unsurprising

  6. The audacity of the Michellin CEO. Turning down F1? If only their tyres were not so good.

    1. The audacity of the Michellin CEO. Turning down F1?

      Smartest thing Michelin could ever do, as the world is full of people with the same susceptibility to negative perception @sjaakfoo describes above.
      F1 tyres don’t relate at all to road tyres – but if people think Pirelli aren’t good for F1 (whatever they judge that by, as there is nothing to compare them with), then they’ll naturally apply that to the entire brand and all of their products.

      Why would Michelin want suffer that same fate? And yes, they absolutely would – F1’s tyre demands are nothing like they were 15 years ago.

    2. Michelin saw the requirements F1 put forth and said, “no, we don’t want to manufacture poor tyres” — Pirelli were happy to oblige.

    3. Michelin prides itself on making industry leading tyres.

      They have nothing to gain from associating with F1’s clownish tyre philosophy.

    4. Michelin have actually gained better marketing by publicly not associating with F1. Cheap, easy, and clever.

  7. Billy Rae Flop
    10th October 2023, 16:26

    NOOO

  8. Dire choice.

  9. Sad news for the sport. One of many sad news in recent years. I know it’s all about the money for Liberty, FIA and team owners, but does it have to be such a literal fact? Why do we always end up disappointed with their choices? Whenever you expect the worst, you get the worst. You know that tires will always suck, you know that there will be no new teams, you know that there will be no traditional tracks left eventually, you know that almost all races will be somewhere in the middle of nowhere, in the desert, or some Kitsch hell like Vegas or Miami, you know that Stroll the daddy’s boy will be there next season, you know that racing will be worse, that DRS will still be there for MORE overtakes, and you do know that more (quantity) will still rule the sport. Oh, and we’ll still be seeing Steiner talking about high demands for new teams, how no one deserves to be in F1, whilst he’s leading an empty shell of a team forgotten even by its owner. Well, the fact that Verstappen and co. will race on worse tires than I use for my family car doesn’t come as such a surprise anymore.

    1. Why do we always end up disappointed with their choices?

      Expectation problem, I’d say…

  10. I actually think it’s pretty sad how almost everyone likes to dig on Pirelli. Remember, the cars are constantly developing more and more downforce, Pirelli or any tyre manufacturer has to more or less make an educated guess up front about the range of downforce and how cars interact with the tyres as well as brand new tracks about a year in advance and do all of that for relatively little money and with hardly any relevant tyre testing.
    Oh, and build in the “managed degradation” off course

    No surprise that it is hard to find other takers that are both interested, capable of doing the job and willing to do it at the same price/cost levels.

    Michelin has clearly stated that they would want 1. competition (not going to happen for safety, cost and competitive reasons.) and 2. build durable tyres that would last for more than a race distance, which F1 is understandably less interested in. Bridgestone supplied rock hard tyres when they were the sole supplier, not sure they would be the step forward people think it would.

    1. … with hardly any relevant tyre testing.

      That makes me wonder if it was ever explained why they abandoned their own testing program with the repurposed Toyota F1 car. If they had such a program still in place, they could test whatever they want, whenever they want. Such a car – and obviously it wouldn’t still be the Toyota – would not have to stick to the regulations, so like F1 teams themselves do in the year before a big regulation change, they could essentially simulate every level of downforce they want.

      1. Because that car had become obsolete and rather irrelevant in its characteristics MichaelN – F1 development goes so fast and is so costly that it would require a huge design team and factory to have a car that offers relevant data on track.

        The FIA and pirelli already work with the simulation data teams provide them up front, but since not even the teams can judge their own cars development while they are working on it, to predict it for most of the grid AND be able to build a car (which would take half a year, so you would be guessing some year and a half up front) would be complete guesswork.

  11. Whenever the possibility of a tyre war or the possibility of selecting Michelin is brought up the stock argument against from some fans is ‘But look at the 2005 USGP’ which was the only race in the tyre war era as well as during Michelin’s participation where any significant problems arose.

    It was an anomaly based largely on the very specific set of circumstances at that one circuit that one year.

    Fast forward to the 2011-today Pirelli era and there has been far more tyre related problems far more frequently which have made F1 look ridiculous far more often. Now to mention how some of these problems have also ended up with Pirelli dictating changes be made to the regulations & the cars which have for the first time in the sports history ended up with the tyre supplier been able to dictate how teams run there cars in order for the tyre supplier to be able to say the tyres are safe.

    Competition drives development which drives the requirement of technical excellence that tends to result in a better product.

    Without competition there is no need to push development, No need to improve the product & no need to push for excellence & that is always going to result in a vastly inferior product which is why the pinnacle of the sport has been stuck with the worst tyres in all of Motor sport for over a decade now.

    1. Indeed, it’s important to keep noting that – unlike some increasingly seem to claim – the 2021 floor regulations were not changed to slow down Mercedes after their dominant 2020 but rather introduced at the suggestion of Pirelli because they feared their tyres would not be able to stand up to a projected increase in downforce for 2021.

      Since the 2021 season was supposed to be the first of these new regulations, but those were delayed due to the covid-19 pandemic, there was (apparently) no option to make better tyres for just the 2021 season.

  12. Seann Sheriland
    11th October 2023, 0:03

    I would like to see competition in tire suppliers.
    Pirelli, is one, Michelin could be the other.
    Teams get to select their preference.
    It might provide more challenging racing.

  13. No surprise at all.

    Kinda feel sorry for them as they were the only choice really so they’re stuck with another 3 years of being bagged and not really being able to do anything different given the desire to have inbuilt deg.

  14. :( Would have loved to see a switch to Bridgestone…

  15. F1 harps about ‘sustainability’ when it comes to emissions but never when it involves the marshmallow tires that leave debris all over the track and potentially in the air. I tried to lookup PFAS in tires and surprise, surprise, there aren’t any studies on it. If anyone has a link to a study, please share.

    1. No answer for you Jay. But I would like to know how many tyres in total across all teams were used prior to the start of the GP.
      I know this weekend was off kilter but Japan or any recent will do.
      Not all teams have blah blah, a number like 500 even before the race.

      1. @davedai

        On the official F1 site, it says 13 sets of tires per team per weekend, plus 3 wet sets + 3 inter sets. 16(rounds, prior to Qatar) x 20(cars) x 19(dry+wet total) = 6,080 total sets of tires MAXIMUM. Now whether the teams used all the tires is another matter and I unfortunately don’t have further information.

        1. Thanks Jay. I think once mounted they can’t be utilised another time, so off to the recyclers.
          I was getting confused watching live timing and seeing number of tyres used column in FP 1,2,3 & quali and thought it’s a lot wondering if they reused some if things were going well, or not so well and save for race .
          It’s still a lot until the lights go out and it’s go! go!go! (somewhere)

    2. You might find more using ‘microplastic’, which seems the most common in describing the environmental impact of tyre manufacturing and wear. This is one that looked at both MPs and PFAS: ‘Fate of road-dust associated microplastics and per- and polyfluorinated substances in stormwater’ by Biplob Kumar Pramanik and others.

  16. Boo. Enough of the tyre formula. Let the drivers push flat out on tyres that don’t fall apart like cookies.

    1. Well that’s just the way the cookie crumbles🥴
      Mercedes Benz
      Kitchen sinks
      Mop flops etc etc

  17. Sergey Martyn
    11th October 2023, 16:05

    I believe that if there was no mandatory tyre change and some new manufacturer provided the rubber to last the entire race it would help to make the races more exciting if midfield teams and backmarkers could go without pit stops. They moan about zero carbon emissions but trash tons of tyres which have no less effect on environment. Hey, Greta, where are you now when such horrendous things kill our climate and make the little rabbits cry the bloody tears when every set of tyres is trashed?

  18. I remain utterly opposed to any kind of monopoly in F1 and entirely unconvinced by the arguments for prescribed tyres.
    The whole POINT of F1 is it’s a constructor formula, and that used to mean every team doing whatever it thought was the best way to make their car faster than everyone else’s car. The 2005 Indy debacle is an excuse, not a reason. It was, as Toto might say, a colossal fork up, but so what? Do we have an engine monopoly if someone makes a bad engine? We do not. Getting it wrong is part of the process, and with no competition we can never know whether a rival could do a better job.

    1. Do we have an engine monopoly if someone makes a bad engine?

      Well, we sorta do. They all build the same spec as prescribed in the rules. No-one can go and build something significantly different.

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