Pirelli to face F1 tyre supply competition from Bridgestone

Japanese company makes rumoured bid to return to series.

Italian manufacturer Pirelli is set to face competition from Japanese brand Bridgestone for the exclusive tyre supply of Formula One.

Confirmed:

  • Following the deadline of 15th May, Pirelli is not alone in making an application
  • Number of applicants has not been confirmed, but reports indicate Bridgestone has applied
  • Pirelli beat competition from Hankook for previous tyre tender process of 2020 to 2023

Context: Pirelli has been the exclusive tyre supplier for Formula One since 2011, most recently being granted a one-year extension until 2024 due to the Covid pandemic.

The brand originally replaced Bridgestone who had previously supplied the series between 1997 and 2010. The Italian manufacturer’s time as tyre supplier has been beset by issues with the construction of the tyres, with drivers having to carefully manage their operating window to extract the maximum performance.

Comment: Eiichi Suzuki, Bridgestone's manager of motorsports planning, told Autosport: “We are always thinking about what and how we can best supply our motorsports activities in global categories, including F1. Of course, we are conducting research on such matters.”

Responding to the rumours of a return to Formula One, a spokesperson for the company told Autosport: “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.”

Coming next: Since leaving Formula One, Bridgestone has been the exclusive supplier of IndyCar through its Firestone brand. The company’s work on the guayule tyre – derived entirely from sustainable natural rubber – may be of particular interest for Formula One’s sustainability focus.

This latest tender process covers the period of 2024 to 2027, but the International Automobile Federation (FIA) is yet to confirm the identity of any applicants.

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