Goodyear - it's all over

THE Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company will be pulling out of Formula 1 at the end of this season - and there do not appear to be any plans for the American company to substitute Goodyear with Dunlop. This will leave Bridgestone as the only tire supplier in Grand Prix racing. Goodyear is pushing ahead with its plans to buy Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Dunlop's parent company, but any motor racing involvement is not currently a priority.

The Williams and Ferrari team managements are believed to have been told in the days before the Belgian GP that Goodyear will not be changing its mind and staying in F1, despite the recent successes over Bridgestone with the latest Goodyear tires.

The news means that Bridgestone will have to supply 100% of the field and will not get anywhere near as much coverage as has been the case for the last two seasons because tires will cease to be an issue in the races and will, therefore, be ignored by the world's media. Bridgestone does seem to be committed to F1 despite the loss of Goodyear as competition and the financial troubles in Asia. It will, however, be interesting to see if in the longer-term the loss of Goodyear will result in Bridgestone rethinking its policy in Grand Prix racing.

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