Bridgestone to quit F1 after 2002?

Japanese tyre manufacturer Bridgestone is poised to make its Formula 1 exit at the end of the 2002 season, according to an exclusive in this week's Autosport magazine

Bridgestone to quit F1 after 2002?

No official announcement has been made, but Autosport says that the decision has already been made and that senior management have already been informed. The 2002 pull-out date has been set in order to honour existing contracts with several teams, including McLaren and Ferrari.

Three reasons for a pull-out are cited: firstly, a spending cut-back to prepare for a potentially costly court case over Bridgestone's US brand Firestone and its alleged involvement in a series of fatal road accidents; secondly, a reluctance to continue developing grooved race tyres, and thirdly, the fear of bad publicity stemming from its impending F1 head-to-head with Michelin, which has threatened a series of post-race protests to clarify the rules on groove depth.

Speaking at the Japanese Grand Prix, Bridgestone motorsport manager Taka Hoshio said he was unaware of any decision by Bridgestone to quit the sport.

"As far as I know, we haven't made the decision to pull out," he said. "I know the company has been badly damaged by what has happened in America, but at difficult times it is sometimes more important to do things like F1."

It is unclear whether any decision by Bridgestone to end its F1 participation would also apply to its CART programme with Firestone. But in today's (Wednesday's) Wall Street Journal, its US motorsport director Al Speyer is quoted as saying that the court case will not affect its racing programme in the immediate future.

READ MORE IN THIS WEEK'S AUTOSPORT MAGAZINE

shares
comments
Audio -- Derek Warwick: 'I'm a Schuey fan!'

Previous article

Audio -- Derek Warwick: 'I'm a Schuey fan!'

Next article

Honda poised for BAR buy-out

Honda poised for BAR buy-out
Load comments
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash Plus

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race Plus

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021