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Bridgestone left the F1 world championship

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Bridgestone left the F1 world championship

Unique World Championship tire supplier, the Japanese manufacturer announced its withdrawal from Formula 1 circuits after the 2010 season, due to the economic situation.

Jason Lee / Reuters

Bridgestone was the only tire supplier in the world championship since the French Michelin withdrawal at the end of the 2006 season "Bridgestone announces that he will not sign new tire supply contract with the World Championship Formula 1 FIA (International Automobile Federation, ed.) The current contract is due to expire at the end of the 2010 season, "the group said in a statement.

"The business environment is undergoing major changes," said spokesman Makoto Shiomi Bridgestone. "We need to focus our resources in strategic areas and technological renewal", he justified. He declined to speculate on who will become the next official supplier of the championship. The Japanese group thanked all those involved in F1 "for their enthusiasm and support for Bridgestone over the last 13 years."

Bridgestone had entered F1 in 1997, becoming the supplier of five stables. He then sought to increase the visibility of its brand in Europe to challenge the supremacy of Michelin. Since the withdrawal of the latter in 2007, he was the only F1 championship of the supplier, had already left the US Goodyear at the end of the 1998 season Bridgestone is the last great undertaking as to distance the world of motor sports due to the economic crisis. The world's largest automaker, Toyota has already announced that it would cease to host the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji Mount circuit from the season 2010. Its rival Honda has meanwhile sold his F1 team to its former director Ross Brawn stable.

"I do not think they left the motor sports just because of poor economic conditions," said Tatsuya Mizuno, director of consulting firm Mizuno Credit Advisory in Tokyo. "The concept car is no longer what it was. Before a car was judged on speed, performance, design and style. It was what attracted young consumers, and win in Formula 1 was what people loved him. But now people want cars environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient and reliable "he explained. "Being part of the Formula 1 involves a lot of cost. It becomes too expensive compared to business needs," he concluded. In 2009, Bridgestone has produced some 40,000 tires Formula 1 for the ten teams at its factory in Kodaira, a suburb of Tokyo.


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