Could Pirelli have a new rival? FIA launch tyre supplier tender from F1 2025 season

Sam Cooper
Pirelli tyres lined up at the 2021 Abu Dhabi tyre test. Yas Marina, December 2021.

Pirelli tyres lined up at the 2021 Abu Dhabi tyre test. Yas Marina, December 2021.

Formula 1 could soon have a new tyre supplier after the FIA opened the process to bidders for the 2025 season onwards.

While tyre wars in Formula 1 used to be commonplace, they became a thing of the past when Bridgestone first became the exclusive provider and the sport has since only leaned on one company for its tyre needs.

In 2011, that company became Pirelli who continue to supply tyres until this day but their monopoly on the sport’s rubber could soon change with the FIA opening the door for another manufacturer to come in.

Following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the FIA announced it was seeking potential suppliers for the 2025 season onwards in a deal that could last for four seasons.

The successful applicant will also gain the contract for the Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships.

The brief is not too dissimilar from the current contract with the F1 tyres set to remain at 18 inches but, in line with the sport’s push for more sustainability, the successful candidates will be required to provide data on the environmental impact of the tyres.

“The tender will also require potential suppliers to supply an analysis of the environmental impact of the tyres used in Formula 1,” an FIA statement said. “And the successful bid will need to demonstrate best practice and innovation when considering the complete life cycle of the tyres.

“These targets have been agreed through consultation with the commercial rights holders and the teams, and are designed to ensure a wide working range, minimise overheating, and have low degradation whilst also creating the possibility for variation in strategy.”

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The new supplier will also have to navigate the sport’s 2026 engine regulation changes with the higher torque power units set to provide a different challenge in terms of tyres.

Pirelli is expected to maintain its control of the sport’s tyres but the door has now been opened for other suppliers to make a move.

A decision for the new tyre supply contract is expected in mid-June.

In its 73-year history, Formula 1 has had nine different tyre suppliers with Pirelli one of four manufacturers to provide rubber for the first season in 1950.

Goodyear tyres have provided the most wins in Formula 1 history with 368 cars crossing the finish line in P1 equipped with their tyres. Pirelli are second on the list with 286 victories.