GP2 Pirelli deal points to F1 contract extension

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GP2 and GP3, the junior categories which appear on the support bill at many F1 races, have extended their deals to use Pirelli tires.

The official F1 tire supplier is yet to formally extend its contract with the FIA beyond the end of this season. Rival tire manufacturer Michelin was tipped to be considering a return to the sport.

Bruno Michel, the CEO of the two series, said: “It was then natural to choose [Pirelli] for GP2 Series since they also had become F1 sole supplier and it has always been our philosophy to use the same tyre supplier as F1’s.”

Pirelli have been F1’s official tire supplier since 2011 and are expected to have their deal extension officially confirmed in the near future. Some sources have already reported they have signed a new five-year contract which would take them up to 2018.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said GP3 and GP2 are “the perfect training ground” for F1. “We’ve already witnessed several drivers progress up the ranks to compete in Formula One, which just goes to show how important these championships are.”

“GP2 and GP3 also allow drivers to learn how to deal with important issues such as tire management on some of the world’s most challenging and famous race circuits.

Wide range of tire selections for Mexican Grand Prix

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The focus this week is on the United States Grand Prix from Circuit of The Americas in Austin, but because it’s Tuesday, the Pirelli tire selections for next week’s Mexican Grand Prix are also out.

And for once, there’s a wide variance in selections.

Both Red Bull and Ferrari have gone for a more balanced portion of supersoft and ultrasoft tires, with Red Bull only selecting six sets of ultrasoft tires.

Meanwhile all other teams have gone between eight to 10 sets of ultrasoft tires.

The full breakdown is below.