Bridgestone director of motorsport Yasukawa plays down tire war

BRIDGESTONE's director of motorsport Hiroshi Yasukawa has played down the potential tire war that is set to engulf the Formula One world championship this year with the re-introduction of Michelin.

Yasukawa said that his company will simply go about their business and see what Michelin can do, but he believes the focus on a tire war is bad for the sport as it take some of the focus away from the racing.

"We are to different companies with the same aim," said Yasukawa. "We have been fighting each other since the early 1980's. Every company has their own philosophy and their own ideas how to work.

"Michelin has a lot to say, has a high profile and a more aggressive approach. Bridgestone is much quieter, but our objective is still to have winning results. It's their job to compete to destroy our advantage.

"Michelin has a lot of ideas and it will be hard competition this year. Personally, I like competition but we need some limitations. F1 is not a tire competition. We don't want too much attention to be on tires."

Yasukawa went on to deny reports that Bridgestone will pull out of Formula One in 2002 and said the team have bigger plans for the future after moving in to a new UK factory at Langley, near Heathrow Airport.

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