Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola is unsure of the tyre manufacturer's future in F1 beyond 2024.
The Italian tyre manufacturer entered F1 in 2011 to replace Bridgestone and was tasked with providing fragile rubber to recreate the effects of the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix in which drivers pitted three or four times across the course of the event.
Tyre failures in the first three seasons led to a restructuring of the rubber construction and over time the durability of the compounds has lengthened, even if overheating issues still dictated strategy and the amount drivers could push.
Pirelli has overseen the transition to 18-inch tyres for this season and has sought to introduce compounds less prone to overheating when one car follows another.
The tender process for the tyre manufacturer to be chosen has been delayed across the Covid-19 pandemic but with Pirelli's stay currently slated to end in 2024, Isola insisted the choice to continue was beyond his control.
"Obviously, the decision is not in our hands but, in general, we are happy with our experience in Formula 1 and we want to continue," said Isola.
"We had an extension for 2024, but you know that this contract is subject to a tender process and it's up to the FIA to decide how to manage the situation together with Formula 1."
Pirelli explain tender process
The tender process in F1 allows tyre manufacturers to essentially bid for their spot on the grid.
The last time two tyre companies faced off against each other was when Bridgestone and Michelin engaged in F1's 'tyre-war' until the French manufacturer left in 2006.
Explaining the process, Isola detailed: "Usually the tender is released, not at the end of this year, but mid of next year, because it's the same process we had in the past.
"That means that the decision is for the end of next year, to give one year’s time to the winner of the tender to prepare for the season.
"We are hoping to discuss the future with Formula 1 There is a lot going on, and we have to discuss more in detail about that.
"But it is a tender, so in the end it is up to the offer and the characteristics and the elements that are included in the tender."
Additional reporting by Ian Parkes
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