Pirelli prepared for potential Formula One tyre war

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Mario Isola says Pirelli would be ready to compete with another tyre manufacturer in Formula One but has warned against the cost a tyre war would generate.

Pirelli has been F1's sole tyre supplier since the start of the 2011 season. The sport last had two tyre suppliers back in 2006 where Bridgestone and Michelin competed against each other.

"If they decide to come back to this situation as we said in the past, we are ready to face also this new challenge,'' Isola said. "It is a new challenge because if you're a sole supplier you have some targets.

"You supply the same tyres to everybody so you can have a tyre with high degradation, with different targets. If we are in competition with our tyre supplier the target is just performance. It is clear. It's like for teams. Their target is safety for sure but safety is a target, it's always there, it's always a priority but after that it's just performance.''

Cost cutting and cost caps have dominated the teams' agendas since the arrival of Liberty Media and Isola believes having two tyre manufacturers in the sport would go against this and thus increase costs significantly.

"The direction of Formula One is still to have one supplier,'' Isola added. "Obviously what is changing quickly but the single supplier is saving money for everybody. If you introduce, again, what they call the ''tyre war'' or multiple suppliers you have to consider that in the past it was necessary to have additional test sessions or in the past the teams had a proper tyre test team and obviously this means additional costs.

"If they want to reduce the cost, this is probably not the right direction.''

F1 confirmed at the German Grand Prix that it would be switching to 18-inch tyres from the 2021 season.