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Hankook considering F1 tyre future

8 June 2010

Hankook has tentatively thrown its hat into the ring to supply Formula 1 teams with tyres in the coming seasons in a bid to increase its global awareness.

The South Korean company had considered submitting a tender to replace Bridgestone for the 2011 season, but its inexperience with F1 technology meant it couldn't put a strong enough bid together in the time required.

Nonetheless, Hankook – which has some motorsport links through rallying and sportscars – says it is considering a move to F1 in time

"Currently we do have a little Le Mans team, and some rally teams here and there, and we try to sell some motor sports tyres," Hyan Bum Cho told the Australian Sydney Herald newspaper.

"In the future we want to have some hefty market share in that segment. It's quite profitable, but in order to really leverage from motor sports in terms of brands, you need to participate in either world rally championship or a very high segment in Le Mans, or Formula One.

"So in the future that's the target that we have, to participate in those segments. And that's going to cost a lot of money, a lot of development cost, a lot of investment, and also how to run these operations with experience."

Fellow South Korean tyre manufacturer Kumho also expressed an interest in supplying tyres to F1 teams for 2011, although it appears likely that Pirelli is in line to take over from Bridgestone.


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