The FIA has confirmed that at least one bidder has rivalled Pirelli to become Formula 1's official tyre supplier from 2020-2023. Pirelli has been F1's tyre supplier since 2011, but its current contract is set to expire at the end of the 2019 season.
Michelin stated during the Italian Grand Prix weekend that it was not interested in entering Formula 1. However, officials from Hankook were seen in the Monza paddock, leading to speculation that the South Korean company is interested in joining the series.
Hankook supplies tyres to the European Formula 3 Championship as well as DTM, Germany's leading touring car championship. FIA president Jean Todt confirmed that multiple responses have been received to the FIA’s tender for a 2020-2023 official F1 tyre supplier.
“The ending of the tender was last night at midnight,” said Todt. “I don’t have the result yet of who has been applying for the tender. "I know it’s more than one, that I know. I knew since a while now, before August, that Michelin was not going to compete for the tender.”
Pirelli is interested in extending its contract with F1 following the 2019 season: “I can confirm that we are interested in the tender,” said Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola. “I can confirm that we sent the application. The technical document from the FIA is quite detailed, and we are happy to discuss it.
“As I’ve said in the past, our approach is to work together to find the best solution. They will probably have quite a lot of technical working groups, because it’s not just 18-inch tyres that are part of the package, and also the characteristics of the tyres need to be discussed.”
The FIA will spend the next couple of weeks studying the bids. When it decides which of the bids are acceptable, the tender will be passed to the F1 organisation who will analyse and decide on the potential commercial aspects.
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