Bridgestone has been at the fore-front of innovation and development in motor sport since making its racing debut at the first Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka in 1963. Motor sport is now a crucial arena for expressing Bridgestone’s corporate identity on a global level. The tires supplied by Bridgestone for that first race were ordinary motor car tires but within three years Bridgestone had developed a racing tire and began its bold climb towards the summit of motor sport.
In 2007 Bridgestone became the sole supplier to all eleven teams competing in Formula One following Michelin’s departure from competition.
Established in 1931 by Shojiro Ishibashi, the Bridgestone Corporation is now the world’s largest manufacturer of rubber products and tires for cars, motor cycles, agricultural, industrial and mining vehicles, airplanes, trucks and buses. The company’s diverse operations include the manufacture of Golf Equipment; Bicycles; Clean Energy (Bridgestone formulated EVASAFE, an adhesive film that fastens silicon cells to glass in solar panels, which are in increasing demand as a clean energy source); and Electronic paper.
Alex Tai, Virgin Racing’s Chief Executive Officer, expressed his pleasure at the team’s partnership with Bridgestone “Bridgestone’s philosophy is ‘Passion for Excellence’, which perfectly matches Virgin’s approach to life. Being new to the sport we are very happy to partner with such an icon as Bridgestone, a company which not only has immense experience but which has also achieved incredible success in the field of motorsport. We look forward to a close and productive relationship with Bridgestone."
Mr. Hiroshi Yasukawa, Bridgestone’s Director of Motorsport echoed Alex Tai’s delight commenting that “We are delighted, in our role as Official Tire Supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship, to be working with the Virgin Racing Team and welcome them whole heartedly to the paddock. Not only do we expect Virgin will strive for success on track but their marketing and promotional know-how will be a welcome boost as Formula One enters into an exciting new era."