Rejecting Bridgestone, F1 Will Extend Contract with Pirelli Until 2027
It’s no secret that Bridgestone wants to return to Formula 1 racing to become their exclusive tire supplier. However, this has to be postponed again because Liberty Media as the owner of F1’s commercial rights continues to choose Pirelli until at least 2027 as their sole tire supplier.
Currently, Pirelli has received exclusive rights until 2024 as an F1 tire supplier. With this new collaboration, Pirelli will receive an additional contract until 2027.
Like Pirelli, Bridgestone has received the green light from the FIA that they are fit and have met the requirements to become a special supplier for Formula 1 racing, but the decision remains in the hands of the F1 license holder, namely Liberti Media.
It is also known that Bridgestone is the only challenger to Pirelli to become the exclusive tire supplier for F1, Michelin is not visible in the fight for exclusive rights.
Bridgestone made a higher offer
Based on information from Motorsport-Magazin.com, Bridgestone actually offers a more attractive offer than Pirelli. However, Liberty Media, as the owner of F1, seems to prefer Pirelli, which has been the exclusive supplier since 2011.
This seems like favoritism but it is understandable, especially in terms of the development of new tires that will be used in 2026 and beyond. The tire specifications used by current F1 cars will continue to be used at least until 2025, before new regulations are implemented.
In 2026 F1 drivers will use car specifications from the new regulations, including tire specifications. Therefore, Pirelli has started developing it now and has set a test schedule with drivers at least until the end of this year.
If Bridgestone gets the 2025-2027 contract, then they will have to invest heavily in developing tires with the latest specifications. Not only development, Bridgestone also needs field data or test drives from F1 drivers which is currently being carried out by Pirelli.
Pirelli challenges with tire blanket polemic
In line with the zero carbon emission vision of the F1 organization, Pirelli has also developed tires that do not require tire covers. Tire blankets are one of them carbon footprint which is being sought to be eliminated or at least reduced in use.
However, it seems from several trials that some drivers consider Pirelli tires without heating (tire blankets) to be too dangerous. Even Max Verstappen once issued a statement that without tire covers, there could be a lot of accidents in the early laps because it is difficult for the tire temperature to rise to the optimal position.
With this problem, Pirelli is not automatically safe from Bridgestone because Bridgestone may have a better solution than what Pirelli has offered.