Grapevine: Bridgestone Deny Plans to Leave F1

Japanese tyre manufacturer Bridgestone today denied having any intention to leave Formula One at the end of the following season.

Grapevine: Bridgestone Deny Plans to Leave F1

Japanese tyre manufacturer Bridgestone today denied having any intention to leave Formula One at the end of the following season.

"It is unfortunate to see some members of the media speculating, without grounds, that Bridgestone will withdraw from the FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of 2004," said the company in a statement.

"Bridgestone Motorsport would like to clarify that contrary to such media reports, it has no intention of withdrawing from the FIA Formula One World Championship."

Bridgestone are currently supplying tyres to half the Formula One field, having joined the sport at the start of the 1997 season. The Japanese manufacturer have been criticised recently for their performance in the tyre war against Michelin, who have won the last two Grands Prix.

Both companies, however, have scored five wins each and the Bridgestone-shod Ferrari team are leading the Championship.

"There has never been a moment that Bridgestone has thought of withdrawing from Formula One since our entry back in 1997," said Hiroshi Yasukawa, director of Bridgestone motorsport. "We have enjoyed a very successful period in Formula One with no fewer than five consecutive Drivers' and Constructors' titles being won on our tyres.

"Not only does Formula One provide us with the ideal environment in which to showcase our technical expertise but it has also led to the transfer of technology from race track to road for the benefit of the general public using Bridgestone tyres.

"With six races remaining, this year is undoubtedly a highly competitive season. We relish this top level competition and remain as committed and as passionate about our involvement in Formula One as ever. We are looking forward to a battle royale with our rivals in the second half of the season."

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