Pirelli tyres has confirmed it has concluded a deal that will see it supply Formula One (F1) with tyres until the end of the 2016 season.
The manufacturer came under pressure and scrutiny last season after a number of high-profile tyre failures and blowouts led top drivers to question the safety of the compounds.
However, the second half of the season saw the tyre quality improve and teams were happier with the compounds.
The decision will provide some much-needed stability to the F1 paddock, which is in the midst of a raft of regulation changes at the moment. Adding a new tyre supplier to the mix may push the sport back in the coming years.
As well as announcing the completion of the deal, Pirelli tyres also revealed two new mandatory rules that will be implemented into the FIA's regulations.
The first rule concerns wet tyre testing, stating that one of the 12 days of official pre-season testing, as prescribed in the 2014 Sporting Regulations, will be dedicated to testing wet-weather compounds.
It is hoped this measure will provide the tyre company and the teams with crucial data that can be used at the first race of the season when rain falls, rather than running all tests on slick tyres and struggling for grip in the first wet race of the season.
The second addition to the regulations will see each team dedicating one of their eight days of in-season testing exclusively to tyre testing.
This means that during each of the eight days of in-season testing, at least one team – and up to a maximum of two – will be concentrating on tyre testing along with Pirelli’s engineers, providing crucial feedback on the performance of the tyres, in a bid to avoid the blowouts witnessed during the 2013 season.
Each of the changes to the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations regarding the testing of tyres will be mandatory from the 2014 season onwards.
Posted by Danielle Barge