JUNE 8, 1998
Hope fading for Goodyear
UNLESS there is a decisive move shortly from the management of Goodyear in Akron, Ohio, it will soon be too late for the American tire-maker to reverse its incomprehensible decision to pull out of Formula 1. It seems that Goodyear bosses decided that the company could pull out but would then return to the sport in a couple of years once expansion plans have been completed. This theory did not take into account the realities in Formula 1 racing which mean that if Goodyear stops supplying Williams and Ferrari it is very unlikely that the company would be able to get the teams back again in the future.
There are, however, one or two encouraging signs that the withdrawal may be reversed. Bridgestone wants to compete with another tiremaker so that tires remain in the news. Without a tire war, the rubber is rarely mentioned.
Our sources in F1 circles say that F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone had talks last week with Goodyear's chairman Sam Gibara. We will have to wait to see if this will mean that Goodyear will stay on in F1 in 1999.