Written By Hugh Waring, edited by Janvi Unni
Pirelli, the current tyre supplier for Formula 1, is expected to face tough competition for the official FIA tender contract from 2025. Reports suggest that Japanese company Bridgestone has submitted a bid, indicating a potential challenge to Pirelli's long-standing involvement in the sport.
Earlier this year, the FIA initiated the tender process for the official tyre supply contract from 2025 to 2027, with the option for an extension until 2028. The deadline for applications was on May 15, and the FIA is currently in the process of evaluating the proposals before announcing the approved bidders on June 16.
The chosen candidates will then proceed to the next stage of negotiations with Formula 1's commercial rights holders. Having faced competition from Hankook in the previous tender process, Pirelli secured a one-year extension until the end of 2024 due to pandemic delays in implementing new technical regulations.
While the FIA has not officially disclosed the number or identities of the applicants for the 2025-2027 tender, sources have revealed that Bridgestone is among the interested parties. Bridgestone previously participated in Formula 1 from 1997 to 2010, becoming the sole tyre supplier from 2007 after Michelin's departure at the end of 2006. Since then, Bridgestone has remained involved in major Japanese motorsport categories and other international series. Its Firestone brand currently serves as the exclusive supplier for IndyCar.
Eiichi Suzuki, Bridgestone's manager of motorsports planning, recently indicated the company's interest in exploring involvement in other series, including Formula 1. While he confirmed ongoing research in this regard, Bridgestone has refrained from officially confirming its application for the FIA tyre tender contract.
A spokesperson for Bridgestone stated, "Bridgestone has a heritage of over 60 years in motorsports and we will continue to pursue sustainable global motorsports activities. However, we refrain from commenting on any particular categories."
The potential entry of Bridgestone into the Formula 1 tyre supply market would undoubtedly introduce new competition for Pirelli. As the FIA evaluates the proposals, the motorsport community eagerly awaits the announcement of the approved bidders and the subsequent negotiations that will shape the future of Formula 1's tyre supply.