Toyota confirmed on November 11th that it will return to Bridgestone tyres in a multi-year deal to commence when winter testing gets under way at the end of this month. The announcement comes as no surprise as Toyota said back in September that it...
Toyota confirmed on November 11th that it will return to Bridgestone tyres in a multi-year deal to commence when winter testing gets under way at the end of this month. The announcement comes as no surprise as Toyota said back in September that it was in negotiations with the Japanese manufacturer for 2006.
Chairman of Toyota Motorsport and team principal Tsutomu Tomita believes the move is the best choice for the foreseeable future. "It is a pleasure to announce that Toyota Motorsport and Bridgestone Motorsport have joined forces," he said. "I am sure that our two companies will share a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship over the coming years in Formula One."
"After a rather successful 2005 season, our sights are now set even higher up the grid and we feel that Bridgestone is ideally suited to the technical demands of F1 in the future and will be the best match for our 2006 car. Toyota is serious about winning in Formula One and we feel that the switch to Bridgestone tyres is the best option in the medium-long term."
Williams has also made the switch back to Bridgestone for next season so, along with Ferrari, the manufacturer will have three competitive teams to aid development. Ferrari said on more than one occasion this season that the lack of top teams working on Bridgestone tyres was a disadvantage so presumably the Scuderia will be happy to have Williams and Toyota on board.
Michelin confirmed after China that it would only supply five teams in 2006; Renault, McLaren, BAR, BMW (formerly Sauber) and Red Bull. Therefore, Midland (formerly Jordan) and Toro Rosso (formerly Minardi) will evidently run Bridgestones. New team Super Aguri, which is currently waiting on FIA approval for its 2006 entry, is also thought to favour a Bridgestone tyre supply.
Although Ferrari has already been at work in Italy since the end of the season, for most of the teams winter testing commences at Spain's Circuit de Catalunya on November 29th. Prior to that, recently confirmed official Ferrari testers Luca Badoer and Marc Gen? will be on track in Bahrain from November 19th.