Todt: 2 bids for F1 tyre supply
During last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Jead Todt disclosed that a second tyre maker has expressed interest in becoming exclusive Formula 1 tyre supplier for the 2020 to 2023 seasons. He didn’t reveal the company’s name – he claimed not to have the information at hand – however we confirmed it wasn’t Michelin.
“I don’t have the result yet of who has been applying for the tender,” he said. “I know it’s more than one, but I knew since a while now before August that Michelin were not going to compete for the tender.”
Pirelli, exclusive tyre supplier since 2011, is throwing its hat back into the ring. Michelin’s enthusiasm in acting as tyre supplier was dampened by the continued use of a 13-inch tyre size in 2020 before an 18-inch size is adopted for the following season.
The second contender would likely be a tyre maker already supplying an ‘F1 near’ series. Hankook, as exclusive tyre supplier for Formula 3 since 2012, is a name that springs readily to mind. The tyre maker has previously expressed an interest in supplying tyres to F1. Kumho, which supplies tyres to the annual Masters of Formula 3 race in Zandvoort, the Netherlands, is another manufacturer to have voiced its interest in the past, however it currently seems a less likely F1 suitor than its South Korean rival.
Goodyear has previously said it wouldn’t rule out a return to F1, however when looking at the company’s current motorsport focus a tyre supply tender submission from Goodyear seems unlikely. Bridgestone, which acted as exclusive tyre supplier over a 13-year period before bowing out at the end of the 2010 season, is another name we probably won’t see on the F1 tyre supply tender list. Upon announcing its intention not to continue as tyre supplier, Bridgestone commented that it had achieved all it had set out to accomplish in the task and wished to redirect its resources to other fields.