It's no secret that Bridgestone wants to return to Formula 1 racing to become their exclusive tire supplier. However, this had to be postponed again because Liberty Media, as the owner of the F1 commercial rights, continued to choose Pirelli at least until 2027 as the only tire supplier for them.
Currently, Pirelli has obtained exclusive rights until 2024 as a tire supplier. With this new partnership, Pirelli will get an additional contract until 2027.
Like Pirelli, Bridgestone has received the green light from the FIA that they are eligible and have met the requirements to become a special supplier for Formula 1 races, but the decision remains in the hands of the F1 licensee, namely Liberti Media.
It is also known that Bridgestone is the only challenger to Pirelli to become the exclusive tire supplier for F1, Michelin is not seen in the race for this exclusive right.
Bridgestone makes a higher offer
Based on information from Motorsport-Magazin, Bridgestone actually offers a more tempting offer than Pirelli. However, Liberty Media, as the owner of F1, seems to prefer Pirelli, which has become an exclusive supplier since 2011.
Such favoritism but understandable, especially in terms of the development of new tires to be used in 2026 and beyond. The tire specifications used by current F1 cars will at least continue to be used until 2025 before the new regulations are implemented.
In 2026 F1 drivers will use car specifications from the new regulations, including tire specifications. Therefore, Pirelli has started developing from now on and has set a trial schedule with drivers at least until the end of this year.
If Bridgestone gets the 2025-2027 contract, then they will have to invest heavily in the development of tires with the latest specifications. Not only development, Bridgestone also requires field data or test drives from F1 drivers which is currently being carried out by Pirelli.
Pirelli's challenge with the tire blanket polemic
In line with the "zero carbon emissions" vision of the F1 organization, Pirelli has also developed tires that do not require tire blankets. Tire blankets are one of the carbon footprints that are being sought to eliminate or at least reduce their use.
However, it seems that from several trials, some drivers consider unheated Pirelli tires to be too dangerous. Even Max Verstappen once issued a statement that without tire blankets, there could be many accidents in the early laps because it is difficult for the tire temperature to meet to the optimal condition.
With this problem, Pirelli is not automatically safe from Bridgestone because it could be that Bridgestone has a better solution than what Pirelli has offered.
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