Bridgestone and BAR split

Bridgestone Motorsport has confirmed that it will not supply tyres to the BAR-Honda team in 2004 after the two parties agreed to cease their deal. BAR will now switch to Michelin, and will test the French rubber for the first time today (Tuesday)

Bridgestone and BAR split

BAR has used Bridgestone tyres since it entered F1 in 1999, but is understood to have become increasingly frustrated at its close relationship with Ferrari. It will now join Williams, McLaren, Renault, Jaguar and Toyota on Michelin rubber, but will test as planned today in Barcelona alongside Bridgestone teams Ferrari and Sauber on Michelins.

BAR will test an '04 Concept' car which has its own silver and black livery and is designed to help the team to evaluate new technologies - an interim step towards the new BAR Honda 006 it plans to launch in February. The team will run two cars during the three-day programme, to evaluate the performance of its 2004 engine and rear-end package, to provide a preliminary assessment of reliability and to start development work with Michelin

Bridgestone's director of motorsport Hiroshi Yasukawa said: "Whilst Bridgestone is naturally disappointed not to continue its working relationship with the BAR Formula 1 team, we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours."

BAR team principal David Richards said: "We would like to thank Bridgestone for the excellent technical partnership we have enjoyed with them over the past five years. We wish them well for the 2004 championship and beyond."

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