Bridgestone Ready to Supply 11th Team

Formula One tyre manufacturer Bridgestone are set to give approval to a supply deal for Honda's new 'junior' team next year, Autosport-Atlas can exclusively reveal

Bridgestone Ready to Supply 11th Team

Although details of the new team only emerged this week, sources have revealed that Bridgestone are keen to get involved with the Honda 'junior' team because of the high profile the new outfit are likely to have in their home market of Japan.

If the green light is given for the new team, with further discussions set to take place at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, then it could result in a Japanese combination of Takuma Sato driving a Honda-powered car on Bridgestone tyres.

Bridgestone's desire to get involved with the new outfit has also been fuelled by the possibility that Red Bull's junior team could be switching to Michelin tyres next season.

Should that happen, with Red Bull having lodged a request with Michelin, then Bridgestone would only be left with four of the current teams  - Ferrari, Williams, Toyota and Jordan - at a time when they know they need as much testing mileage as possible to recover their form.

The Honda operation would almost certainly have the budget for a major testing programme to help Bridgestone's efforts, even though the exact details of who will be running the team have not yet been disclosed.

BAR boss Nick Fry told this week's Autosport that discussions over the new team were close to being finalised - although emphasised that the final green light for the operation had not been given.

"The discussions are well advanced but they are not yet concluded," he said. "Mr. Ecclestone is fully aware of what's going on and has given it his support, as he is aware that these are credible people with the appropriate resources."

BAR test driver Anthony Davidson has been strongly linked with the second seat at the new Honda team, which will almost certainly run their own development versions of this year's BAR007 chassis.

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