UPDATE: No Bridgestone, Pirelli, Goodyear, or Michelin as Tire Suppliers in F1 2011

What Happens When “Rubber Town, USA” Gets the Scoop

1:15pm EST — When Bridgestone announced that it would not renew its contract as the sole tire supplier for Formula1 after the contract ends at the end of the 2010 season, the next question was who would take over  in F1.  Soon, Reuters published that Pirelli had no desire to supply F1 with tiresOn Any Sunday, These Days then suggested that multiple tire suppliers might add some more on-track excitement with the removal of re-fueling, but that there were only a few manufacturers capable of producing the type and amount of tires necessary for F1.

Goodyear and Michelin are the most likely contenders, despite, or perhaps because both have supplied F1 with tires within the past ten years.  Unfortunately, according to an article by Jim Mackinnon, business writer for the Akron Beacon Journal, “Michelin isn’t interested in re-entering Formula One — also known as F1 — racing, a spokeswoman for the company’s North American headquarters said Monday.”

Similarly, Goodyear North America spokesman Ed Markey said, when asked by Mackinnon, that, “We have no plans to re-enter F1,” though, the company is “continually evaluat[ing] a wide range of opportunities to determine the best fit for our strategic direction and make decisions based on the best interests of the company,” and, apparently, might be persuaded to re-enter the F1 tire market.

With these four major racing tire manufacturers out of the running, what companies are available, and who will take on such a project?  There is time to plan and execute the necessary production for a supply of F1 tires, but that will require resources that seem to be sorely lacking in a down economy that has three manufacturers or teams withdrawing from the series, or considering doing so, within a week.



  1. Firestone? They provide the tires for Indy right?

    • Firestone does provide the tires for Indy, but was bought by Bridgestone in 1988. While the Japanese parent company is the one in charge of F1 tires and the North American Bridgestone/Firestone does Indy, it is unlikely that Bridgestone Japan will allow Bridgestone NA to supply F1 tires when Japan is no longer willing to do so.

      • Oh, yea, that does seem unlikely.

  2. Hopefully, the big four are merely jockeying for a better position when the contract comes up for negotiation with Mr Ecclestone. I say hopefully, as the tyre war between Michelin and Bridgestone drove cost’s sky high.
    Having said that, with a cost cap; or some kind of universal tyre specification, a tyre war could be an interesting addition to a race with no fuel stops.

  3. Kelley Tires FTW!

    Seriously, take the Michelin comment with a grain of salt. That was a North American spokeswoman. Until they produce an official quote in the French HQ, I’ll still assume Michelin will take over.

    Too bad about Pirelli though. And nobody has mentioned Continental.

    • oh, I agree. I don’t think that what they say now will be the final answer, especially when it is Michelin North America. Still, it is good to know what the knee-jerk reaction of these companies is and the fact that the immediate response is “no” is telling of a general unwillingness to spend extra money on F1 and to deal with the FIA.

  4. With last week’s announcement of the Hoosier and Continental liaison, perhaps they can take over? (Said only partially kiddingly…) Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS165982+30-Oct-2009+PRN20091030

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