Pirelli will look to maintain their status as the tyre supplier for Formula 1 from 2025, though competition may emerge from a familiar face.
Since 2011 Pirelli has been the exclusive tyre supplier of Formula 1 and the process to submit bids for the next FIA tender has now come and gone.
This deal will run from 2025-27, with the prospect of an extension for 2028, and naturally Pirelli have thrown their hat into the ring to continue their association with Formula 1, the deadline having been May 15 for applications to be submitted.
And as per a report by Motorsport.com, sources have claimed that Pirelli are not alone in putting forward an application, with Bridgestone also pushing for a return to Formula 1.
The Japanese firm’s most recent Formula 1 involvement saw them locked in a tyre war with rivals Michelin from 2001-06, before becoming the exclusive supplier once more from 2007-10.
A Bridgestone spokesperson declined to offer any clarification on their reported interest in a Formula 1 return.
“Bridgestone has a heritage of over 60 years in motorsports and we will continue to pursue sustainable global motorsports activities,” the statement read.
“However, we refrain from commenting on any particular categories.”
Bridgestone’s motorsports manager Eiichi Suzuki did go as far as to acknowledge Formula 1 when speaking to Motorsport.com, though remained coy on the matter of whether any application for this upcoming tyre tender has been made.
“We are always thinking about what and how we can best supply our motorsports activities in global categories, including F1,” said Suzuki.
“Of course, we are conducting research on such matters.”
On June 16 the FIA will confirm which bidder has been successful, so that the process can then move on to talks with F1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media.
Bring on the next F1 tyre war
Perhaps having multiple tyre suppliers has not always been a shining light for Formula 1, the 2005 United States Grand Prix comes straight to mind, but having more than one company involved again could add some much-needed spark to the strategy battle.
Pirelli seem under constant pressure to deliver a tyre which the Formula 1 teams are happy with, one that drivers can push hard on, though falls off the cliff quite dramatically when it reaches that point.
The Spanish GP did offer a break from the one-stop races, though still it felt like a battle between the Pirelli compounds failed to really materialise and create that unique and exciting dynamic.
Perhaps, then, if another supplier like Bridgestone arrived on the scene, Liberty Media could look to follow a route where Bridgestone and Pirelli go in different directions with the characteristics of their tyres, giving teams that choice and the potential for intriguing battles across a race weekend.