Despite the uncertainty surrounding Formula 1's future, Pirelli's commitment to the sport until 2023 reflects the tyre supplier's confidence in Liberty Media's ability to move Grand Prix racing forward, says Mario Isola, the company's head of car racing.
F1's commercial rights holder and the teams have yet to agree to a regulation and financial platform from 2021 to carry the sport into a new era.
Pirelli however, has decided not to wait for a formal deal between Liberty and the teams to extend its exclusive partnership with F1 from 2020, when its current tyre supply contract expires, to 2023.
"There are so many discussions on the future of Formula 1, the new cars of 2021, and the change of size and so on that I’m optimistic," Isola said, quoted by RACER.
"There are a lot of discussions around that. I think that it’s normal in Formula 1 when you have such a big change like the renewal of the agreement amongst teams and FOM that it’s a delicate situation, but we’re happy that we committed for a long period on our side."
However, with a change in specification on the 2021 horizon, with a move from 13-inch to 18-inch wheel rims and the banning of tyre warmers, Isola underscored the necessity for Pirelli to prepare as early as possible for the modification, on the basis of projected car performance.
"We already started to design the new tyres because we cannot wait. The deadline was already in the past," said Isola, speaking at the Autosport International Show.
"What we can do is adapt the tyres, the design, to the new rules when they are available. But we need to know at least 80-90 percent of the expected performance of the cars as soon as possible... without that information it is really a challenge.
“We have two years in front of us before using the 18 inch tyres so it’s important that we use this time in a good way.
'We cannot lose time but I believe we can do something good if we have the right process."