Understanding the Japanese exodus

Understanding the Japanese exodus

In less than a year, Honda, Bridgestone and Toyota have announced plans to leave Formula 1. Dieter Rencken sheds some light on why grand prix racing is not appealing to Japanese companies anymore

That Bridgestone has chosen to exit Formula 1 when its sole supplier contract expires at the end of 2010 is no surprise, for any benefits provided by the three-year contract are more than offset by the whole raft of negatives inherent in any such situation, which have in turn been compounded by the recent wholesale defections from motorsport's premier category.

When Bridgestone entered the sport in 1997 (initially with the likes of Arrows and the nascent Stewart team) it was in competition with Goodyear, which company had for so long ruled the F1 roost that it was able to squash Bridgestone's request for low profile rubber.

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