Pirelli to rebalance motorsports involvement?

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This was reported on Nov. 4, on by David Evans.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has admitted there are no guarantees that the Italian tyre firm will bid to return for a second term as the World Rally Championship's control tyre supplier.

Pirelli's three-year WRC deal comes to an end next season and, while Hembery says the company will consider the FIA's tender document for 2011 to 2013, a repeat of the 11 million euro investment in the current deal is highly unlikely.

"We'll sit down and look at the document," said Hembery, "but the world has changed significantly since the last time we made our proposal to the FIA. We will study the interest in the sport and gauge the effect of our current supply contract to the WRC. I can then present to the board of Pirelli, but it's not a given that we will get the nod from them.

"Don't forget, we've had to close factories, lay people off and sometimes the sport has to come second. This is purely a financial thing."

Also reported Nov. 4; When questioned about the chances of Pirelli bidding to replace departing Bridgestone in the 2011 Formula One Championship a spokeswoman for Pirelli told Reuters, “Pirelli's previous position on F1 hasn't changed, Pirelli prefers to develop tyres for racing that will also be used on the road. Pirelli sponsors Superbikes (BSB and WSBK), the World Rally Championship and GT2.”

Pirelli has been one of the most financially successful tire companies in 2009. The economic challenges facing manufactures such as Pirelli and Bridgestone may continue to reshape the role of tire manufacturers in the top international motorsport series.

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