LONDON (Reuters) - Pirelli can continue as Formula One's sole tyre supplier next season, the governing FIA said on Friday in a statement that also raised the possibility of a single fuel provider in future.
The International Automobile Federation said the 2013 'Concorde Agreement' governing the sport, which is yet to be signed by all parties, would give it responsibility for conducting tenders for tyres and fuel.
"In order to cover the transition period and considering the contracts already settled by FOM (Formula One Management) and the teams with Pirelli, the WMSC (the FIA's world motor sport council) today confirmed that Pirelli may continue to supply tyres to competitors in the FIA F1 World Championship," it said in a statement.
It added that this was "subject to the requisite technical and safety standards of the FIA being met."
Pirelli's current contract expires at the end of the season, with their tyres coming in for heavy criticism earlier in the year when drivers suffered a spate of blowouts.
The Italian company has already agreed contracts with all the 11 teams and the commercial rights holder.
"One of the noteworthy aspects of the new 2013 Concorde Agreement is the new tender procedure for appointing single suppliers in the tyre and fuel categories, for the FIA F1 World Championship," the FIA statement said.
"In this new process, the FIA will be confirmed as the body in charge of conducting the tender process. The Commercial Rights Holder will be entitled to run the commercial negotiations with potential suppliers, with a view to the selected single supplier being officially appointed by the
Talk of a single fuel supplier is likely to be a concern for
teams, who have their own official partners and receive a significant financial contribution from them.
Glamour team Ferrari have for decades been linked with oil giant Shell while Mercedes and Williams are sponsored by Malaysia's Petronas and Venezuela's PDVSA respectively. Red Bull have Total as their fuel partner.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)