Formula 1

Bridgestone’s Sustainability Efforts Not Enough in F1 Tyre Supplier Bid, Pirelli Secures Contract Until 2027

In the heated contest for the Formula One tyre supply contract, Pirelli has triumphed over Bridgestone, retaining its position until 2027. Despite Bridgestone’s emphasis on sustainability in tyre technology, their bid was ultimately unsuccessful.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pirelli’s Continued Dominance: Pirelli has secured the role as the sole tyre manufacturer for Formula One until 2027, with the possibility of extending the contract, despite Bridgestone’s competitive bid.
  • Bridgestone’s Sustainable Innovation: Bridgestone highlighted its Enliten road tyre technology, which incorporates 63% recycled materials and produces tyres 20% lighter, showcasing their commitment to sustainability in motorsports.
  • Future Opportunities and Current Challenges: Bridgestone may have a future opportunity to enter F1 post-2028, while Pirelli faces current challenges, including tyre issues at the Qatar GP, highlighting the need for better communication with track owners.

After an intense bidding war, Pirelli has emerged victorious as Formula One’s official tyre supplier, extending their already long-standing relationship with the sport until 2027. This decision comes after a significant challenge from Bridgestone, who had hoped to leverage their advancements in sustainable tyre technology to clinch the contract.

Bridgestone’s CEO, Shuichi Ishibashi, broke the silence on their bid, emphasizing their commitment to sustainability in tyre manufacturing. He highlighted Bridgestone’s Enliten technology, which utilizes 63% recycled components to create tyres that are significantly lighter. In a statement to Autosport, Ishibashi said, “Bridgestone has sincerely and continuously been communicating with FIA and FOG [Formula One Group] regarding the next tyre tender period for F1 and proposed advanced innovative technology and sustainability initiatives.”

Despite this setback, there’s speculation that Pirelli might conclude its association with Formula One after the current contract, potentially opening a door for Bridgestone in the future. However, Pirelli faces its challenges, most notably at the recent Qatar Grand Prix. The race brought to light issues with the tyres, particularly concerning sidewall problems that raised concerns about potential failures.

Addressing these concerns, Pirelli’s racing manager, Mario Isola, highlighted the need for improved communication. He stated, “We need to improve the communication, to have a system where, when there are changes to the circuit, there is an involvement of different stakeholders in order to understand if there is an impact on any of them.” Isola also advocated for the involvement of tyre manufacturers in track design and suggested consulting with various motorsports entities, like MotoGP, to make informed decisions on track designs.

This situation reflects the dynamic and highly competitive nature of Formula One, where innovation, technology, and strategic partnerships play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the sport.

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