Formula One: Pirelli set to stay in F1 as tyre supplier, says FIA chief Todt

Pirelli is expected to remain Formula One's sole tyre supplier next year if the teams and commercial ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone agree on staying with the Italian company. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
Pirelli is expected to remain Formula One's sole tyre supplier next year if the teams and commercial ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone agree on staying with the Italian company. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

MONZA (AFP) - Pirelli is expected to remain Formula One's sole tyre supplier next year if the teams and commercial ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone agree on staying with the Italian company.

The president of the sport's ruling body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), Jean Todt made this clear on Saturday when he said the sport had no plans to initiate a bidding process.

Pirelli have endured a stressful and controversial year to date following several incidents of tyre failures and high-speed blowouts leading to fears about safety and threatened driver boycotts.

Former F1 tyre suppliers Michelin, of France, have been linked strongly in recent weeks with a bid to return to the sport.

Todt said: "If everybody says we are very happy, then what is the point of going to a tender? I will be able to explain that we don't go to a tender because everybody is asking (for Pirelli).

"But if I had five teams saying we want that, and the other ones this, then definitely we would need to go to a tender.

"Plus, if it is unanimous to go in a direction, then if I go to a tender you know what people will say? 'He is against Pirelli so he does a tender to try to make it Michelin'..."

Todt confirmed he spoke to Ecclestone about the issue at Monza on Saturday and planned to hold further discussions with Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera on Sunday.

He added: "I know exactly what needs to be done, but at the moment there are some discussions to be undertaken, some discussions with the teams, some discussions with the commercial rights holders.

"I know Michelin has demonstrated some interest, but at the end of the day we will do the things that need to be done. But I will not do something which does not create a consensus."