Pirelli is keen to extend its contract as Formula One’s official tire supplier despite its troubled season.
Their products came in for criticism from some teams early in the year who claimed they were too aggressive. Then a spate of failures during the British Grand Prix led Pirelli to hastily change their constructions in time for the next race.
Nonetheless motorsport director Paul Hembery is keen for Pirelli to remain in F1:
“We’ve said we want to stay in, we want to make sure that we rectify some of the issues of this year of which one was our own making, many others weren’t, that’s for sure,” he told ESPN.
“When things are tough that’s the time that you keep going. We’re not quitters and we will make sure that we keep working hard and doing the best that we can for the sport.”
Hembery is optimistic of agreeing an extension on its F1 contract for next year: “We do have long-term arrangements with FOM and the majority of the teams so it’s getting there.”
“So I believe we will be, unless the sport doesn’t want us and it changes its mind, I have no idea! But we are trying to do the best we can for the sport within the restraints we’ve got.”
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”