Pirelli says supplying the Formula 1 field with tires will have no impact on its budget after securing a three-year deal to be the sport's sole tire manufacturer.
The Italian company will replace Bridgestone as Formula 1's tire provider from next year and, despite the costs involved, Pirelli says the costs associated will be "zero."
"We have had this opportunity thanks to the fact that the world is changing," Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera told a press conference on Thursday. "Formula 1 understands the problems for suppliers, and we have reached an agreement to be able to serve Formula 1 with what they need in terms of tires, and they have been helpful with us with different teams paying for the service.
"So, at the end of the day, for us the cost – taking into account all items – will be zero compared to our budget and the advertising campaign that is linked to our Formula 1 will be switched from other races where we've reduced our presence, first of all rallying, where there are new rules starting next year."
Provera admitted that the company will trim the budget from other racing activities in order to put more focus on its F1 program. But he is optimistic the deal will reap benefits for Pirelli and he reckons the chance to supply tires to the Formula 1 field is a great one.
"We'll reduce our budget in other racing and be fully dedicated to Formula 1," he said. "Following the FIA rules, we will start working with all the teams and we will find ways to improve our competence in other ways.
"We expect a great return in terms of brand image and technology thanks to the fact that Formula 1, based on 2009 figures, attracts more or less two billion viewers, including fast-growing countries, places where our presence is growing fast. This is a great opportunity and we will be fully dedicated."
Provera said there was no tension between his company and the FIA, whose president Jean Todt spoke out recently against what he considered early assumptions about a decision that was the FIA's to decide.
"The FIA made the decision, so that means the relationship is proper and perfect," he said. "There is no issue between us and the FIA. I spoke with Jean Todt, he knows that we are committed to this, and he also mentioned the commitment of the FIA to make our life easy to be ready for the first Formula 1 race next season with the right products for our customers. After the three years, things will change and it will be exciting to be part of a new era for tires in Formula 1."
Pirelli said it will create a team dedicated to the development and production of Formula 1 tires, and that its engineers are already working on simulation models and tire compounds for next year. The development team will be based in Milan, but the tires will be produced at its motorsport department factory in Izmit, Turkey.