The Italian monopoly tire supplier of Formula One, Pirelli will leave the World Rally Championship after this season to redirect its focus to other series it supplies. This means the tire supplying of next season will become solely Michelin’s and DMACK’s responsibility.
A short stint of supplying
Pirelli returned to the World Rally Championship in 2014 but hasn’t supplied any top WRC teams in these last few years. It supplies hundreds of different motorsport championships around the globe and not having hit big in WRC, the pull-out is reasonable. Pirelli won’t leave rallying completely as they will continue to support the European Junior Rally Championship for future years.
The last rally of this season in Australia will be Pirellis final outing in WRC at least for now. The Pirelli tires will be fitted into Lorenzo Bertinelli’s Ford Fiesta RS and a WRC2 driver Nicholas Fuchs’ Skoda Fabia R5. A list that shows exactly why Pirelli is leaving the championship, Michelin and DMACK have taken all the big names and teams.
The start of 2016
It didn’t look so dim for Pirelli in WRC at the start of the 2016 season as they had the former Polish F1 driver Robert Kubica as their biggest name. Sadly Kubica failed to perform in the first rounds of the season and so he didn’t get beyond the beginning of the 2016 season. This way Pirelli lost the “face” of their tires in WRC and so they decided to lead this supply stint of three years onto the ground. A sad but smart thing to do. Luckily there are two competitive WRC tire suppliers for next season so Pirellis drop-out won’t result into a tire monopoly in WRC.