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Teams could adapt if F1 loses Pirelli next year
Wednesday 21st August 2013, 13:43 by TF1T Staff
Formula 1 teams could adapt to a late change in tyre manufacturer if Pirelli's contract isn't extended past the end of the current season according to McLaren's managing director Jonathan Neale.
The Italian tyre supplier is yet to hear whether its contract will be renewed despite the deadline for new suppliers registering an interest with the FIA having past.
The uncertainty is a concern for McLaren and its rivals who are nearing the final stages of chassis development for next season.
"I think at this stage we are assuming - and I don't know whether there is any foundation for that - that somehow the process will continue with Pirelli," Neale said during a Vodafone phone-in on Wednesday.
"For all the teams, not just McLaren, making sure we understand exactly what tyre, shape and weight is going to be does affect fundamentally some of the vehicle layout decisions."
However Neale believes a last-minute change could be accommodated if necessary, though it could have an impact on the competitive order.
"If we were to get a late change, from someone coming into the sport late notice, of course we would work around that and work with whoever the FIA chose.
"It would be the same for everybody, so if someone throws in a curveball at the last minute I guess we'd all have to recover. But there'd be some winners and losers in that."
It's believed the only viable candidate interested in taking over is Michelin, which has the support of FIA president Jean Todt.
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