Date: 17th January 2014 at 10:08am
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Back in September Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli were confirmed as Formula One’s official tyre supplier for 2014.

The news had been heavily anticipated for several months, as Pirelli had previously held an agreement with Formula One and the majority of the teams for next year, but had been forced to wait for the news to be officially ratified by the FIA.

For seemingly unknown reasons, this process had dragged on for several months, leading to some rumours about whether or not Pirelli would be staying with a sensational switch to Michelin muted.

Despite the news another four months passed without a formal contract signed.

That has now taken place with all parties agreeing a new three-year contract renewal which sees Pirelli continue as Formula 1’s tyre supplier until 2016.

After a controversial season in Formula One where the tyres made more headlines than the races themselves, the delay in the contract signing has been put down to prolonged talks regarding safety.

‘The world motorsport’s governing body [FIA] and Pirelli, in collaboration with the teams, have been working together to improve levels of safety and performance in Formula One, resulting in important changes to the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations regarding the testing of tyres, which will enable the Italian company to continue its Formula One single supply arrangements, in the best interests of the sport. Pirelli said in a statement.

‘These new rules, mandatory from the 2014 season onwards, can be summarised as follows:

) One of the 12 days of official pre-season testing, as prescribed in the 2014 Sporting Regulations, will be dedicated exclusively to wet tyre testing.

) Each team will dedicate one of their eight days of in-season testing, as prescribed in the 2014 Sporting Regulations, exclusively to tyre testing. This means that during each of the eight days of in-season testing, at least one team – and up to a maximum of two – will be concentrating on tyre testing along with Pirelli’s engineers.

‘Pirelli will continue to determine the specification of the tyres and to manage all aspects of their development, in close consultation with the FIA and the teams, and within the parameters set out in the FIA Formula One Sporting & Technical Regulations.