Formula One’s sole tyre supplier Bridgestone has announced it will pull out for the sport at the end of 2010.
The firm confirmed it would not be extending its contract beyond that date yesterday, although it will continue to supply tyres for the GP2 series and MotoGP.
Bridgestone has been in F1 since 1997 and has won 156 of the 223 grand prix it entered. It has been the sole supplier since the beginning of 2007 when Michelin pulled out of the sport.
Bridgestone Motorsport director Hiroshi Yasukawa said in a statement: "The decision made by the board of directors comes after considerable and lengthy evaluations and has been based on the company's need to redirect its resources towards further intensive development of innovative technologies.
“Our sincere appreciation is extended to Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management, the Formula 1 teams with whom it has been an honour to work alongside and the many F1 fans who have followed our activities over the past 13 years.”
Bridgestone will continue to be the sport’s sole supplier for the 2010 season.