Pirelli extends F1 tyre supply contract into 2019

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Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed in his typical way that Pirelli is set to extend its contract with the FIA and FOM to continue to be Formula One's sole tyre supplier until at least 2019.

The news was triggered by a question from David Coulthard during his pre-race starting grid interviews, questioning Bernie Ecclestone on F1's tyre situation while standing alongside Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera.

The F1 supremo immediately said that Pirelli was a solid partner for the sport.

"Pirelli has been doing everything we have asked them to do, so there really is no reason to change".

Moments later, Ecclestone shook hands with Provera and said "let's make a contract".

The Italian also said there were plans for "larger tyres", a discussion that has been going on for a while already as the teams are looking for ways to increase cornering speeds of the cars as of 2017.

"We’re delighted to confirm that we reached a commercial agreement with Bernie Ecclestone to remain in Formula One for the 2017-2019 period," said Pirelli Motorsport boss Paul Hembery later. "The process to the formal FIA official nomination will follow with its procedure."

The agreement still has to be ratified by the FIA, but the formal agreement means that Michelin is now out of the running, most likely because they were reluctant to follow the requirements of Ecclestone and the FIA as willingly as Pirelli is prepared to do.