Monaco – Formula One tire supplier Pirelli warned teams on 23 May that it will quit the sport at the end of the season if a new contract from 2014 is not agreed soon, reported Alan Baldwin for Reuters.
Motorsport director Paul Hembery is said not to have hidden his impatience when he told reporters at the Monaco Grand Prix that time was running out for the Italian company to design and test tires suitable for radically different 2014 regulations.
"Apparently on 1 September we are meant to tell them [the teams] everything that they need to know for the tires for next season. We are now mid-May so you can imagine how ludicrous that is when we haven't even got contracts in place," he said.
"So maybe we won't be here anyway..."
Asked how much of a maybe that was, and how seriously Pirelli was considering walking away, the Briton is quoted as adding: "At a certain point somebody has got to make a decision.
"Things are getting, as far as we can see, extremely serious because the changes next year are so substantial that the sport has to make a rapid decision."
Formula One is adopting a new 1.6 litre V6 turbocharged engine with energy recovery systems next season. Tires will need to be adapted accordingly.
Pirelli have been under fire for introducing new compounds this season designed to increase the number of pitstops and overtaking opportunities.
Critics, notably champions Red Bull, say the changes have gone too far with drivers unable to race any more on tires that deteriorate rapidly and in extreme cases can be good for barely a handful of laps.
Pirelli has agreed to address structural issues with the rear tires from the Canadian Grand Prix to prevent debris causing the tread to peel off while the tire itself remains inflated.
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Full story from Reuters