Hankook wins WRC tyre tender but loses Formula E supply to Bridgestone

South Korean manufacturer to supply rallying championship in three-year deal from 2025, but loses all-electric series contract from 2026.
  • Pirelli steps away from WRC after three years
  • Bridgestone returns to an FIA world championship for first time since 2010

Hankook has won the tyre tender for the World Rally Championship (WRC) from 2025 but lost its contract with Formula E to Bridgestone.

The South Korean company has signed a three-year deal with WRC but, from 2026, will be replaced by its Japanese competitors in the all-electric series.

Hankook will be responsible for providing tyres to the premier Rally1 vehicles, as well as WRC2, WRC3 and the junior WRC support championships.

This brings Pirelli’s three-year tenure with the championship to a close. The Italian brand confirmed it wouldn’t be continuing its contract in September.

“We are thrilled to embrace an exciting new chapter for the FIA World Rally Championship and extend a warm welcome to Hankook as our exclusive tyre provider for the next three years, commencing in 2025,” said Peter Thul, senior director of sport for WRC Promoter.

As one door opens, another closes. Hankook’s contract with Formula E will not be renewed following its three-year stint that commenced this year, with Bridgestone making a return to an International Automobile Federation (FIA) world championship for the first time since 2010.

The Japanese manufacturer had hoped to return to Formula One in place of Pirelli, but saw these efforts fall short after the Italian brand extended its deal until 2027.

Instead, Bridgestone will form part of a new set of suppliers for the all-electric series from the 2025/26 season onwards, when the new Gen4 regulations will debut.

Spark Racing Technology will continue in its position as chassis supplier, a position it has held since the championship’s inaugural season.

The supply of batteries will change hands to Podium AT, the first time the Italian company will supply an FIA world championship, while responsibility for the front powertrain will fall on Marelli, a long-time supplier for FIA competitions.

BlackBook says…

It’s unsurprising to see Hankook exit Formula E following a season full of numerous complaints from drivers and teams.

However, the all-electric series provides a difficult brief for prospective manufacturers with one type of tyre for all conditions, although the new tyre tender introduces a ‘typhoon’ tyre for extreme conditions, likely in response to drivers struggling for grip in heavy rain this season.

Hankook’s experience supplying the junior category within the European Rally Championship (ERC) means it has some experience ahead of its new deal, but the partnership between Bridgestone and Formula E is particularly interesting.

Since leaving Formula One, Bridgestone has been the sole tyre supplier to IndyCar through its Firestone brand. One innovation it has recently introduced is the guayule tyre, a product derived entirely from sustainable rubber, which aligns with Formula E’s sustainability goals.

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