Saturday June 30th, 2001
Bridgestone will stay in Formula One indefinitely and believe more tyre manufacturers will come into the sport, the Japanese firm said on Saturday.
"In the future more car manufacturers will be involved in Formula One and we believe the number of tyre manufacturers will increase also," said Bridgestone chief executive Shigeo Watanabe in a statement at the French Grand Prix.
"This will enhance further the profile of our business once again. Bridgestone will continue its involvement in Formula One for as long as possible."
Bridgestone entered Formula One in 1997 as a rival to Goodyear, who withdrew at the end of 1998. They were sole suppliers in 1999 and 2000 before Michelin returned this season after 18 years out of Formula One. The Japanese firm currently supplies Ferrari and McLaren among its customers, while Michelin's most successful team are Williams who have won two races with Ralf Schumacher this year.
Bridgestone motorsport director Hiroshi Yasukawa said after the last race in Germany that he would not be surprised to see Goodyear return to Formula One, possibly in 2003.
Published at 11:52:51 GMT