Bridgestone to leave F1 after 2010
TOKYO -- Bridgestone Corp. plans to stop supplying tires for the Formula One auto racing series in 2011.
A day after the 2009 F1 season ended in Abu Dhabi, Bridgestone, the Japanese company vying with Michelin SCA of France to be the world's biggest tiremaker, announced Monday it wants to focus its resources on core tire businesses.
Company spokesman Makoto Shiomi declined to say the decision was due to a prolonged global slump.
Bridgestone began supplying tires for F1 in 1997 and has been the sole supplier since 2007. Bridgestone said it will not renew the current contract for tire supply, which expires in late 2010.
Bridgestone became the latest Japanese company to withdraw from F1.
Honda Motor Co. pulled out of F1 to cut costs amid a global downturn. In July, Toyota-owned Fuji International Speedway announced it would not host the Japanese F1 Grand Prix from 2010 and beyond amid the faltering global economy.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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