Today’s young driver test session marked Bridgestone’s final day as Formula 1’s sole tyre supplier.
The tyre company originally became involved in the sport with a couple of one-off appearances with Kazuyoshi Hoshino the 1976 and 1977 Japanese Grand Prix, but did not enter full-time until 1997. Bridgestone enjoyed a healthy competition with Goodyear for two seasons, until the American company left the sport, paving the way for Michelin to enter the fray in 2001.
When Michelin opted out of Formula 1 in 2006, it once again left Bridgestone as the sole supplier, before even they announced that they were to leave at the completion of the 2010 season. Today’s rookie test marked that end and come Friday morning, Pirelli will return to Formula 1 for their first official run following a nineteen-year gap. Pirelli will also supply the GP2, GP2 Asia and GP3 formulae.
In total, Bridgestone have competed in 244 Grand Prix, winning 175 of them; although 116 of those races went unchallenged. They also claimed 11 drivers and constructor’s titles each.