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Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Monday, 2 November 2009

Bridgestone to end F1 tie in 2010

Formula One
Bridgestone tyres will not be seen in Formula One after 2010

Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone will not be renewing its contract to supply Formula 1, after their current deal expires at the end of the 2010 season.

The Japanese firm was appointed official tyre supplier ahead of the 2008 season on a three-year contract.

The decision means F1 will need to find a new supplier to provide tyres for the teams in the 2011 season.

The company insisted the global economic crisis was not the main reason behind its decision.

"It is not mainly the depressed economic situation," said public relations manager Kaoru Tomizawa.

"We are looking more at where tyre demand needs to be focused."

Bridgestone will continue its interest in Formula 1 next season but wanted to concentrate on new technology and products after that.

"The company has decided to redistribute its resources as part of a changing business strategy," added Tomizawa.

"There has been a change of direction towards further developing areas of the business where demand is greatest and which support the company's aims."

Honda pulled its team out of the sport last December to cut costs while Subaru and Suzuki subsequently quit the world rallying championship and bike maker Kawasaki scrapped its MotoGP team as the market downturn hit hard.

Bridgestone has been supplying tyres to Formula 1 since 1997.

A company statement said: "(Our) collaboration with F1 has contributed to increased brand awareness and the recognition of Bridgestone as a leader in the global tyre industry.

"Having achieved these goals, Bridgestone is now poised to take its technological and brand building efforts to the next level."


Bridgestone said that no decision had been made about possible job cuts but that it would try to reassign workers at its Tokyo base.

Tyre plants in Australia and New Zealand were closed by the company last month.

"We still have a year left in F1 so no final decision has been taken on how it will impact the employees," stated Tomizawa.

"But we would like to respect their contribution before deciding about that."

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see also
Vettel wins as Hamilton drops out
01 Nov 09 |  Formula 1
Kobayashi set for full-time seat
01 Nov 09 |  Formula 1
Bridgestone wins F1 tyre contract
05 Jul 06 |  Formula 1

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