Formula 1

Bridgestone possibly eyeing return to F1 as official tire supplier

Hardik MalhotraHardik Malhotra

June 9 2023
Bridgestone possibly eyeing return to F1 as official tire supplier

Japanese company makes a rumoured bid to return to series.

In a recent development, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has completed the tender process for F1/Formula 1‘s official tire supply contract from 2025 to 2027, with the possibility of extending it until 2028. The FIA is currently evaluating the proposals submitted by interested parties and is expected to announce the approved bidders on June 16th.

While the FIA has not disclosed the number or identity of the candidates, sources suggest that Bridgestone, a renowned Japanese tire manufacturer, has entered the talks to supply F1. Bridgestone was previously involved in Formula 1 from 1997 to 2010, serving as the single supplier from 2007 onwards after Michelin’s exit in 2006. Since then, Bridgestone has remained active in various international motorsport categories, with its Firestone brand being the exclusive supplier for IndyCar.

Eiichi Suzuki, Bridgestone’s manager of motorsports planning, spoke to and expressed the company’s interest in evaluating involvement in other series, including Formula 1. While he acknowledged ongoing research on the matter, Bridgestone has refrained from confirming whether they have formally applied for the tire tender contract.

In response to queries, a Bridgestone spokesperson stated, “Bridgestone has a heritage of over 60 years in motorsports, and we will continue to pursue sustainable global motorsports activities. However, we refrain from commenting on any particular categories.”

The previous tire tender process, covering the period from 2020 to 2023, witnessed Pirelli facing competition from South Korean company Hankook. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced delays in introducing new technical regulations, Pirelli was granted a one-year extension until the end of 2024. As the deadline for applicants for the 2025-2027 tender has passed, Pirelli is reportedly not the sole contender for the new tire contract.

Formula 1’s commercial rights holder will engage in discussions with the approved bidders, marking the next stage of the process. The final decision on the official tire supplier is eagerly anticipated by racing enthusiasts worldwide, as it will play a crucial role in shaping the performance and dynamics of the sport in the coming years.

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