We have all expected the off-season full of announcements. The first one came shortly after the end of 2009 F1 action. And it is a rather surprising one – Bridgestone announced they will not continue supplying F1 with tyres after 2010 season.
“Tokyo (November 2, 2009) – Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone) today announced that it will not enter into a new tire supply contract with the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1) series; the current contract is set to expire at the end of the 2010 season.
In addressing the impact of the continuing evolution of the business environment on its decision, the company focused on the need to redirect its resources towards the further intensive development of those innovative technologies and strategic products which support the company’s goals and further enhance the company’s reputation as a technology leader.
Over the years, the company has benefited directly from its involvement in Formula One racing. The lessons learned through Bridgestone’s successful participation have translated into innovations that can be applied to the design and manufacture of tires. In addition, its collaboration with F1 has contributed to increased brand awareness and the recognition of Bridgestone as a leader in the global tire industry. Having achieved these goals, Bridgestone is now poised to take its technological and brand building efforts to the next level.
Bridgestone is committed to supporting F1 and the series’ teams through the completion of the 2010 season. The company also expressed its sincere appreciation and gratitude to the management of Formula One, the F1 teams and support staff, and the F1 fans around the world for their enthusiasm and support for Bridgestone over the last 13 years.” – Bridgestone.com
Bridgestone entered F1 in 1997 and competed with Goodyear for 2 seasons. Following Goodyear’s pull out from the sport at the end of 1998 season Bridgestone remained the sole tyre supplier until the return of Michelin in 2001. Michelin and Bridgestone competed in F1 from 2001 to 2006.
Michelin quit in 2007 and Bridgestone became a sole tyre supplier a year before its 2008 – 2010 contract kicked in.
As Bridgestone’s contract is coming to an end next year the new tender was due anyway. Now we now that Bridgestone will not be taking part.
Michelin, Goodyear, Pirelli, Avon and Bridgestone supplied F1 with tyres in past 30 years. Will one of them return or will we see a brand new name entering F1 in 2011 ?
Here are the F1 tyre suppliers between 1977 and 2010:
1977: Goodyear, Michelin, Dunlop, Bridgestone (1 race only)
1978-1980: Michelin, Goodyear
1981-1982: Michelin, Goodyear, Avon, Pirelli
1983-1984: Michelin, Goodyear, Pirelli
1985-1986: Pirelli, Goodyear
1989-1990: Pirelli, Goodyear
1997-1998: Goodyear, Bridgestone
2001-2006: Michelin, Bridgestone
Photo: Bridgestone Motorsports