F1 News

Pirelli, Goodyear or Hankook after all: will there be a new tyre war?

Pirelli, Goodyear or Hankook after all: will there be a new tyre war?

27 March - 20:11


There was hardly any publicity. No press release, no biggest announcement on the FIA's site. Only after a good search could the tender be found on the digital home of the international motorsport federation. Incidentally, the message was clear: interested parties can apply to become the tyre supplier of F1, F2 and F3 from 2025.

In any case, it is clear that Pirelli - the regular tyre supplier since 2011 - wants to extend the expiring contract as exclusive partner. "F1 is in a very successful period, and I believe that part of this success was also because we followed their indication and we have developed a tyre at the right level of quality performance, degradation, integrity, whatever. So we are happy to continue and to stay with F1 in this journey,'' Mario Isola recently told GPblog.

Interest from the US

The growing interest in Formula 1 has already led to Audi, Ford and Cadillac (General Motors) wanting to join the sport. The latter two brands are from the United States, where Formula 1 is on an unprecedented rise. US sponsors are lining up for F1 teams and the country now has three Grands Prix.

The largest tyre producer in the United States is Goodyear, a company that was (one of) Formula 1's tyre supplier(s) from 1964 to 1998. With the United States as its main market, being active in F1 was not necessary from a PR point of view for a long time. Now that the focus in the US does lie on F1, it could be a lot more interesting for Goodyear to make a comeback.

'Inappropriate to react'

GPblog asked the tyre brand if Goodyear is bidding for the tender. No outspoken yes or no followed in response. A spokeswoman reported, "Motorsport is core to Goodyear’s brand and heritage. We evaluate all racing opportunities, but it would be inappropriate to comment further during the ongoing tender process."

The Bridgestone/Firestone conglomerate is the world's largest tyre manufacturer. The Japanese company is also not commenting on the substance of the tender. Firestone currently supplies tyres to the IndyCar series. Michelin's chances of embarking on a new adventure in Formula 1 are considered low. In memory is the PR disaster in 2005, when the French brand concluded that its tyres for the US Grand Prix were not safe enough. As a result, seven teams withdrew from the race, leading to the collapse of Formula 1 in the US.

Tyre war unleashed?

South Korea's Hankook currently operates as the tyre supplier in Formula E. Entering Formula 1 (and F2 and F3) is not an obvious choice either, as the company is fully committed to electric driving. Moreover, it would be quite a task for the world's sixth-largest tyre manufacturer to supply tyres to two high-profile racing series.

In the coming weeks, it should become clear which parties - besides Pirelli - sign up for the exclusive rights to supply tyres to Formula 1. Even if it is one, another tyre war has been unleashed.

Video player

More videos