Rumors continue around Bridgestone and Formula 1
Bridgestone's motorsport director Hiroshi Yasukawa, in recent interviews, continues to say that Bridgestone will end its role as sole tire supplier to Formula 1 (F1) at the end of this season. Bridgestone has held that role since Michelin ended the F1 tire war with its exit in 2007.
It is to be noted that Bridgestone supplies the tires for testing and races free of charge while spending an estimated 120 million dollars per year on the F1 program.
Rumors concerning past tire suppliers to F1, Michelin, Goodyear, Pirelli and Avon, are that they are unwilling to become sole supplier unless they are paid for their tires. This would cost each of the teams, 14 in 2011, four to six million dollars for the season.
Without the element of competition between tire manufacturers it appears that there is little reason for tire-makers to support F1. The return on investment does not add up in the current world economic environment.