Bridgestone tyres burst hopes of F1 chiefs

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Bridgestone tyres have said there will be no dramatic U-turn in their decision to pull out of Formula One at the end of the 2010 season.

The tyres company is set to quit being the sports exclusive tyres supplier when its contract expires at the end of the year.

Rumours have been bouncing round the world of motor racing that Formula One chiefs have been urging Bridgestone to reconsider its decision. Suggestions have been made that they could negotiate a new contract with more favourable terms.

However, Hiroshi Yasukawa, director of motorsport for Bridgestone, told AUTOSPORT: “Unfortunately our company has made the decision, and nothing has changed.”

That decision means that the FIA will now likely have to open a tender process for the supply of tyres in the championship if it is to find a supplier for 2011.

Yasukawa said that Bridgestone would examine the tender process when it is opened, just in case there was anything on offer that may be attractive for the Japanese company.

“We are waiting for the result of the tender because without tender process we cannot do anything,” he said.

When asked if there was a possibility of Bridgestone selling its tyre technology, Yasukawa explained: “Unfortunately at this stage I don’t know.

“Our company has said that the FIA has to do a tender first, so we have to wait. But unfortunately our decision is that we are not extending our F1 contract.”

Korean tyre manufacturers Hankook and Kumho have been strongly linked with replacing Bridgestone as F1’s tyre supplier.

Alex Kapadia, Operations Team

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