APRIL 13, 1998
Bridgestone want Goodyear to stay
BRIDGESTONE has gone on the record saying that it does not want Goodyear to pull out of Formula 1 at the end of this season. "We are disappointed that Goodyear has announced plans to withdrew," said Bridgestone's F1 boss Hiroshi Yasukawa in Argentina. "We hope Goodyear will change its mind and remain in F1."
Goodyear's withdrawal, although confirmed by the management of the company, still continues to puzzle those in F1 as it makes little sense to give up what the company has built up over so many years in order to save a few million dollars. To get Ferrari and Williams under contract in the years ahead, if the Goodyear bosses decide to come back to F1 again, will take a great deal more money and time.
The general feeling in the paddock, therefore, is that Goodyear boss Sam Gibara and his advisors in the top management in Akron are making a big mistake because they do not understand enough about the workings of Grand Prix racing. There are moves within the company to have the decision reversed, but at the moment these do not appear to be making much progress.
It is unlikely that Bridgestone's plea will make much difference but there is no doubt that if there is a tire war going on attention is focussed on the tire companies while if there is a single tire company in F1, the tires get very little mention in the media.
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