JUNE 22, 2001
Bridgestone boss predicts Goodyear entry
BRIDGESTONE director of motorsport Hiroshi Yasukawa has predicted that Goodyear will make it a three-way tire fight in Formula One in the future.
"I would not be surprised if Goodyear was to return to Formula One," said Yasukawa. "When Bridgestone entered the sport in 1997 the aim was to raise our profile in Europe by competing in the top echelon of motorsport.
"Our aim has certainly been realized and Bridgestone is now a name that is recognized globally, not just in the East and in North America."
Bridgestone have faced stiff competition from new-boys Michelin this season and Yasukawa admitted he would welcome any move from Goodyear to join the battle.
He said: "Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin are the world's three biggest tire manufacturers. It makes sense for us all to be competing in Formula One as well. The competition is good for everyone."
But despite the competition, Yasukawa is confident that Bridgestone will retain their dominant position and supply half of the teams next season.
He added: "Some of our teams' contracts are due for renewal at the end of this season. It is my aim to ensure that we will continue to work with six teams next year so we can build on the strong relationship we already have."
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