Date: 24th May 2013 at 9:42am
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Formula One’s official tyre manufacturer Pirelli could quit F1 at the end of the season.

The Italian tyre company’s contract expires at the end of the current 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Despite the recent controversies regarding the tyres that they have designed for this seasons championship, Pirelli are keen to continue in the sport.

However talks appear to have stalled and Pirelli have now issued a threat that they could quit the sport unless a new deal is put in place soon.

‘Apparently on September 1, we are meant to tell [the teams] everything that they need to know with the tyres for next season, but now we are in mid-May, You can imagine how ludicrous that is when we have not got contracts in place. Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery told Autosport Magazine, before crucially adding: ‘Maybe we won’t be here…’

That final line is no veiled threat, Pirelli have made it clear that they need time to develop tyres for 2014 and beyond.

But of course if Pirelli need time, so would any other possible new tyre manufacturer, which could leave Formula One in crisis if no deal is struck.

It is believed that a commercial deal with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has already been put in place, but the recent arguments over the current tyres have left the teams slow to agree a new deal, while the FIA have not yet announced if they are likely to put the contract out to tender.

‘The sport has to take a rapid decision because aside from having the fixed resources in the business involved in F1, there is also a technical job. We need to do a technical job as well. Hembery continued.

‘It is not just a case of maybe putting a harder compound on to this year’s tyres – the changes are so dramatic that we will need to do a thorough re-engineering of the tyre. That takes time, so the longer is goes on it makes our job impossible.

‘There comes a time where we will not have time to do the job any more.’

Meanwhile Pirelli have almost agreed terms with all eleven Formula One teams for the proposed changes to the tyres for Canada and onwards.

The changes are hoped to end the current safety fears regarding the frequent tyre delaminations that we have seen in races.