Hankook appears determined to become F1's next tyre supplier. The South Korean company has joined Pirelli in responding to the FIA's tender for the role of official tyre supplier starting in 2020.
Auto Motor und Sport reports that experienced F1 engineer Hirohide Hamashima, formerly of Bridgestone, has been retained as a consultant. The FIA is said to be impressed with Hankook's headquarters in Daejeon, having passed the first technical stage of the tender process.
"Now there is the commercial discussion with F1," Pirelli boss Mario Isola revealed at Sochi.
Hankook is also preparing to develop and test its proposed 2020 tyres on the track. The Korean company has reportedly bought a Cosworth-powered 2011 Williams car and a converted Formula 2 car, and retained the services of a former Formula E test driver.
Pirelli's Isola says he doesn't know how long the FIA will take to make its decision: "There is no deadline for that so I cannot tell you how long it will last," he said.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing