Two Korean Tire Makers Interested in F1 Programme

With Bridgestone announcing their exit from Formula One at the end of the 2010 season, Bernie Ecclestone must be going crazy looking for tire suppliers to replace the Japanese maker. In recent months, the biggest players on the tire manufacturer market – Michelin, Pirelli and Goodyear – have all declined offers to return (or debut) in the Great Circus.

However, according to German publication Auto Motor und Sport, there is still hope for Formula One. It seems two Korean tire manufacturers are now lined up to take Bridgestone's place in the premier automobile racing series starting next year.

Although the German reporters did not reveal (or find out) the names of the two companies involved in the F1 discussions, we do know that there are only 3 major tire manufacturers in South Korea at the moment, namely Kumho, Hankook and Nexen. Of course, none of those 3 manufacturers have announced anything officially.

In the meantime, the same source reports that Ecclestone and the Formula One Management (FOM) are trying very hard to keep Bridgestone in the sport for the long run. The reason why the Japanese company decided to leave the series in the first place was because of the high costs involved in manufacturing racing tires. According to their statement, the level of expenditures in F1 had reached 100 million euro.

So F1 will try to tackle those problems by bringing some changes to the tire regulations for the 2011 season. It seems the F1 boss will try to impose a limitation of tires per weekend for each team, in order to cut costs for the Bridgestone company. This way, the Japanese officials might reconsider their withdrawal and sign an extension to their current deal.

It appears a definitive decision on F1's new tire manufacturer will be taken on January 22, following a meeting of the major F1 players.
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