Bridgestone Motorsport announced Monday that it will leave F1 at the end of the 2010 world championship campaign, becoming the third major manufacturer to walk away from the grid in the space of two years - though it insisted the global credit crunch was not the root cause.
Bridgestone entered F1 back in 1997 as a rival to Goodyear, and has been the sport's sole tyre-supplier since 2007 - a year earlier than scheduled - following Michelin's premature withdrawal in the wake of the Indianapolis débâcle.
Its current contract expires at the end of next year, but only a day after the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Tokyo-based company revealed that there will be no renewal and that begs the question...
Which manufacturer will now pick up the mantle?
Could it be Goodyear?
Or maybe Pirelli?
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