Italian tyre suppliers Pirelli on Thursday gave Formula One a stark warning about their current stalled talks on a new deal -- and warned they are ready to pull out at the end of this season.
Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery said that the sport was facing an "extremely serious situation" which must be resolved quickly. If not, he said, Pirelli would find it impossible to make new tyres for the 2014 season.
"Apparently on September 1, we are meant to tell them (the teams) everything that they need to know with the tyres for next season, but now we are in mid-May," he explained.
"You can imagine how ludicrous that is when we have not got contracts in place. Maybe we won't be here."
Hembery's warning comes after a series of negative comments from all sides following the pit-stop-decorated Spanish Grand Prix earlier this month and an open war of words between the teams about the fast-wearing tyres supplied to F1 this year.
Talks between Pirelli and the teams about the details of any new deal for next year have stalled, leaving Pirelli frustrated and warning that it will soon be impossible to comply with the demands of any contract for 2014.
It is believed that Pirelli has agreed a commercial deal with F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone, but that general deal requires the support of agreements between Pirelli and the teams and also the ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA). Some teams are understood to be reluctant to reach any agreement with Pirelli.
During a news conference in Monaco, Hembery said that Pirelli had already set an internal deadline for an answer from the teams, but declined to reveal the date.
"I have always said we will never declare an internal deadline, but clearly time is already getting too late. Things are getting extremely serious."