Testing agreement delaying Pirelli Formula One tyre contract

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One’s new tyre contract with Pirelli from 2017 has yet to be signed off with the sport’s governing body, despite being agreed in October, as the Italian firm wants specific targets and testing guarantees written in.

Formula One - F1 - Russian Grand Prix 2015 - Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia - 8/10/15 General view of Pirelli tyres Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Hoch Zwei Livepic

International Automobile Federation (FIA) race director and technical head Charlie Whiting told reporters at the weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix the delay was not unusual, however.

“Pirelli wanted the targets that they were asked to achieve to be put into the contract. They want more specific items in the contract regarding testing. They really just want a guarantee of testing,” he said.

“If we are going to set them targets, they want the tools with which to achieve those targets. Those are really the only points. I think everything else is sorted but they just want this guarantee of tests.

“We’ve put it into the regulations but they’d like a little comfort and also the possibility to test with their own car...I think it’s all quite achievable in the short term,” added Whiting.

The new sole supplier agreement, already agreed with the commercial rights holder but needing to be signed off by the FIA, is for three years.

Formula One is preparing for major rule changes next season aimed at making cars faster, harder to drive and with more downforce.

As part of those plans, wider tyres will be subjected to heavier loading and faster cornering speeds.

Teams are currently subject to strict limits on track testing before and during the season but the regulations now allow for 12 days of tyre testing.

Pirelli are seeking clarity on what kind of car and which drivers could be used.

“The key for 2017 is that we have a very clear written mission of what it is they expect us to deliver...and allow us then to be in a condition to actually deliver that,” Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said earlier in the year.

Editing by Tony Jimenez