Pirelli receive welcome F1 2025 boost after Qatar GP safety fears – report

Oliver Harden
F1 Pirelli tyres.

The full range of Pirelli tyres on display at the F1 Exhibition in Madrid.

Pirelli are set to see off the threat of Bridgestone to remain as F1’s sole tyre supplier from 2025, it has been claimed – but the new deal is likely to be the Italian manufacturer’s last.

Earlier this year, governing body the FIA opened up applications to become F1’s tyre supplier between the 2025 and 2028 seasons with Bridgestone emerging as the only opposition to Pirelli, who have held the role exclusively since 2011.

Reports last month claimed Bridgestone had put forward a tempting financial offer – but it has been suggested that F1 has opted to remain with Pirelli.

Pirelli set to remain as F1’s tyre supplier

A report by the BBC has claimed that the renewal is set to be announced in the days after this weekend’s Qatar GP, with F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali choosing to “play it safe with Pirelli” despite coming “under pressure” from various fractions to agree a deal with Bridgestone.

Pirelli declined to comment when approached by PlanetF1.com about the report’s contents.

Bridgestone were a popular name in F1 during their previous spell in the sport, playing an integral role in Michael Schumacher’s dominant spell with Ferrari at the turn of the century before withdrawing from F1 at the end of 2010 after four seasons as the sole tyre supplier.

Despite their expertise, there were concerns that the timing of a 2025 return would count against Bridgestone, leaving the Japanese manufacturer with little time to build a full range of tyres in little more than 12 months for the current F1 cars.

The challenge of creating all-new tyres to coincide with F1’s next technical regulation changes in 2026 would have provided a further complication, with the BBC suggesting Bridgestone had “developed slightly cold feet” over a return in recent weeks.

Pirelli’s expected renewal comes despite the company informing Domenicali that they plan to leave F1 at the end of 2027 according to “senior sources”, with the F1 chief said to be tentatively exploring the possibility of Bridgestone taking over from 2028.

In an era of limited testing, Pirelli have struggled for popularity since arriving in F1 12 years ago with a number of high-profile dramas – most memorably at the 2013 British Grand Prix, where a number of drivers suffered high-speed tyre failures.

Pirelli came under heavy criticism after August’s rain-affected Dutch GP, where the extreme-wet tyre was dismissed as “a complete waste of time” by Mercedes driver George Russell, who told media including PlanetF1.com that the compound is not fit for purpose and should be shelved until it can be improved.

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The news of Pirelli’s likely renewal comes as the Italian manufacturer are under fire at this weekend’s Qatar GP, where emergency safety measures have been implemented after concerns emerged over the safety of the tyres.

According to an FIA statement released on Saturday, “high-frequency interference” from the 50mm pyramid kerbs in place at the Lusail venue have created a “separation” issue in the sidewall of the tyres, increasing the chance of failures.

To combat these safety fears, track limits have been altered at Turns 12 and 13 with an extra 10-minute practice session added to the itinerary ahead of the sprint shootout to allow drivers to familiarise themselves with the tweaks.

Should the situation not improve during Saturday’s running, all drivers will be forced to make three pit stops during Sunday’s Qatar GP with stint lengths on each set of tyres limited to 20 laps.

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