New Formula One tyre supplier from 2011 02 Nov 2009
Formula One racing is set to use a new tyre supplier from 2011 after Bridgestone announced on Monday that they will not be renewing their current contract when it expires at the end of 2010.
Bridgestone have been participating in the sport since 1997, winning 156 Grands Prix, 10 drivers' and 10 constructors' titles. They became the official sole supplier to the championship in 2008.
The decision to leave was taken by Bridgestones board of directors, based on the Japanese company's 'need to redirect its resources towards the further intensive development of innovative technologies and strategic products. Hiroshi Yasukawa, director of Bridgestone Motorsport, described the news as a great disappointment.
Bridgestone's relationship with the FIA Formula One World Championship stretches beyond being a tyre supplier, he said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
Formula One has been of strategic importance to Bridgestone in developing its technologies, raising the company's brand awareness and providing its strategic business units around the globe with promotional and marketing tools that are intrinsically linked to our company's core products.
It was a great honour for Bridgestone to be awarded the 2008-2010 contract as Official Tyre Supplier by the Federation International de L'Automobile (FIA) to the pinnacle of single-seater racing and we would like to thank them for their continued support and for entrusting us with this privileged role which has seen us working at the heart of the Formula One community.
Our sincere appreciation is also extended to Mr Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management, the Formula One teams with whom it has been an honour to have worked alongside, and the many Formula One fans who have followed our activities over the past 13 years. I would also like to thank the staff of the Bridgestone Motorsport team for their professionalism, dedication and hard work, and for their passion for excellence.
Bridgestone reiterated that they continue to be wholly committed to the provision of safe tyres of the highest quality to the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2010 and to the running of their tyre servicing operation at the highest level.