Bridgestone and Pirelli: The Battle of the Tire Manufacturers for 2025
Since 2007, the management of Formula 1 has decided to sign contracts with only one supplier of rubber for all teams on the grid. The presence of two suppliers would have led to stiff competition and rising costs. Until 2010 this function was performed by Bridgestone, and since 2011 the role has passed to the well-known Pirreli, the contract with which runs only until 2024.
Pirelli is interested in extending the contract, which also includes a continued partnership. But it seems that this time the Italian company will have a rival in the form of Bridgestone. The recent Champions League attracted attention, and it did not go unnoticed for the Japanese company.
Bridgestone has a very long history in Formula 1. The Japanese manufacturer came to Formula 1 in 1976. When the teams had the right to choose which company will supply them with tires, Bridgestone collected many, moreover, on their rubber won. Of Scuderia Ferrari's 12 seasons, the team took the constructors' cup in eight. But in 2005, the components of Bridgestone could not work with the aerodynamics of the Ferrari and the new regulations, and therefore for Ferrari it was not a very successful season. Then Scuderia won only one race, and that was the scandalous Grand Prix of the United States, when customers Michelin in principle did not start. Bridgestone faced with the problem of overheating rubber. In 2007, Formula 1 "scared" of rising costs and introduced the rule that only one company supplies tires for all teams. The first battle was won by Bridgestone and supplied tires up to and including 2010. A total of 175 Grand Prix were won on Japanese tires and 168 pole positions were taken. In 2011, the baton was taken by the well-known Pirelli.
Of course, for Liberty Media the competition of two tire companies will at best result in the increase of income. According to data, Pirelli currently pays Formula 1 about $30-40 million, and naturally, the management of the series wants to increase that price tag. After hearing one cost from the company, F1 management will go to the other and demand to raise the price higher and make a better deal for themselves. Bridgestone had time to apply for a tender, now undergoing a thorough examination, and then, will begin negotiations on the commercial structure. The FIA and Formula 1 will need to make a unilateral decision. Also worth considering is the fact that if a company signs up to supply tires for Formula 1, it automatically leads to the fact that their responsibilities will also include the supply of tires for the junior series of Formula 2 and Formula 3.
Pirelli Director of Motorsport Mario Isola has stated publicly that they enjoy working in Formula 1 and that they want to continue their partnership.
"We are happy to be in Formula 1. The sport is healthy and in a good position. We would like to make it even better with the FIA, Formula 1 and the drivers.
If we face it, it is clear that Pirelli has many times more chances. At least because Formula 1 has changed a lot since 2011, and the Italians have changed with them. They have implemented every requirement for the product. Formula 1 knows what Pirelli can do and achieve. The basic requirement has not changed from year to year: tires must have a wide operating window and open up opportunities for interesting strategic solutions. A good example of the interaction between F1 and Pirelli is this story. Bernie Ecclestone once asked Pirelli to develop a fast breaking rubber. The company carried out the assignment, and also withstood the criticism of the teams and drivers.
Now conducted various tests and tests, the decision will probably only be made at the end of 2024, when the contract with Pirelli will be coming to an end. At the moment, negotiations are already underway.