A return to “tyre war’ competition in Formula 1 would push up costs and spread the field out, according to Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola.
Pirelli has been F1’s sole tyre supplier since it returned to the championship in 2011 and has a deal that runs up until the end of ’19.
The last time F1 had more than on tyre supplier was in 2006, which was the final season of Michelin and Bridgestone’s rivalry.
In F1’s last Global Fan Survey, run by the Motorsport Network, 69.4 percent of fans called for a return to competition between tyre manufacturers.
Speaking on stage at the launch of Autosport International 2018, Isola said he does not think there will be a return to a tyre war.
“It is a different situation. At the moment, we supply the same product to all teams. So we put all the teams on the same level, in terms of tyres,” he said.
“If you open competition, you increase the costs because you need to test.
“You will have top teams with a better product compared to the midfield or lower teams as you don’t have any obligation to supply the same tyres to everybody.
“You create a differential between the top teams and the others. Maybe with two or three tyre manufacturers, you can have a couple of teams fighting at top but the rest will be struggling for performance.
“With the tyre, you can easily find half a second or more, so you generate bigger delta compared to now.”
After one of the most competitive championships in recent memory in 2017, Isola said there was plenty of reason to be positive ahead of this year’s campaign.
“This year, I expect these three teams plus some other surprises. I’m sure Renault will be more competitive compared to last year. Probably Force India, too.
“Hopefully we will have an interesting championship.”