But it does want to sign a new contract with the sport.

Tyre manufacturer Pirelli says that it is keen to extend its Formula 1 deal beyond next year but will not be forced into a 'bidding war'.

The Italian tyre maker has been the sole supplier to the race series since taking over that role from Japanese company Bridgestone in 2010.

It is understood that the company's executive vice chairman and chief executive officer Marco Tronchetti Provera told shareholders on Tuesday that its participation beyond 2019, the end of its current agreement, is not guaranteed.

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Pirelli tyres

In the conference call, Tronchetti Provera said Pirelli's participation in F1 had worked well but it would not be held to ransom and is seeking similar commercial terms to its present deal. He explained that it was not essential for Pirelli to stay in F1 given its huge presence in international motorsport.

As well as being the sole tyre supplier to the World Superbike Championship, Pirelli claims to support 460 car and bike events each year. 'As we have always said, Formula 1 is a good match for us and we are happy and honoured to stay there,' a Pirelli spokesperson told Motorsport.com. 'But if it comes down to a bidding war, we would not stay at any cost.'

Pirelli's F1 era has been defined by higher-degradation tyres that grand prix bosses requested to spice up racing. It has introduced multiple compounds, with seven different tyres in the slick range this season ranging from hypersoft to superhard.

No other tyre manufacturers have publicly stated that they will bid for the contract, but this warning from Pirelli is a clear shot across the bows to F1 bosses who might be trying to boost the value of the tyre deal. 

Source: Motorsport.com

Gallery: Pirelli tyres