Atlas F1 News Service

Bridgestone Boss Plays Down Tyre War

Monday February 26th, 2001

Bridgestone's director of motorsport Hiroshi Yasukawa has poured cold water on the tyre war that is set to hit Formula One this season with the re-introduction to the sport of Michelin.

French company Michelin will return this season and will come head-to-head with Bridgestone when the teams line-up for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

Yasukawa is looking forward to the challenge from his competitors, but does not want it to take any attention away from the racing.

"We are two different companies with the same aim," said Yasukawa. "We have been fighting each other since the early 1980's. Every company has their own philosophy and their own ideas how to work.

"Michelin has a lot to say, has a high profile and a more aggressive approach. Bridgestone is much quieter, but our objective is still to have winning results. It's their job to compete to destroy our advantage.

"Michelin has a lot of ideas and it will be hard competition this year. Personally, I like competition but we need some limitations. F1 is not a tyre competition. We don't want too much attention to be on tyres."

Yasukawa went on to deny reports that Bridgestone will pull out of Formula One in 2002 and said the team have bigger plans for the future after moving in to a new UK factory at Langley, near Heathrow Airport.



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