Jul.4 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Paul Hembery says he is waiting to know if Pirelli will remain F1’s official tyre supplier beyond 2016.

“No news yet,” the Briton, who is the Italian company’s F1 chief, said at Silverstone.

Pirelli is going head-to-head with former F1 supplier Michelin for the 2017-2020 contract.

“As I understand it,” Hembery explained, “the next stage (of the selection process) will begin on July 17.”

It is on that date that the FIA will apparently declare whether the applicants are technically competent, and be forwarded to Bernie Ecclestone for commercial negotiations.

“That’ll be the tricky bit,” Hembery smiled.

The clear favourite, however, is Pirelli, as Ecclestone, FIA president Jean Todt and most of the teams are believed to be unimpressed with Michelin demanding the move to 18-inch wheels.

“I think it would be wrong to allow tyre companies to dictate what formula one should or should not accept,” admitted McLaren boss Eric Boullier.

But Hembery said Pirelli is in fact open to moving to a wider rear tyre, as F1 seeks to speed up to the tune of 5-6 seconds per lap for 2017.

“More aggressive cars with wider tyres is the right way forward,” F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda told Bild newspaper.