JANUARY 31, 2003
A statement from Bridgestone
Bridgestone says that it would like to "clarify" the situation with regard to supplying tyres to Minardi. The company admits that it received a request from Minardi in October and "this request was carefully considered". Bridgestone says that during this time Minardi tested on Michelin tyres. This is not a very convincing argument as there was no need for careful consideration as the rules are very clear. As it did not receive any response from Bridgestone, Minardi had a choice to test with Michelin or not test at all and using this as a reason not to supply tyres to the team sounds unlikely, as there would have been little choice given that Minardi had not received any response from Bridgestone.
According to Bridgestone, Minardi made a second approach in January and Bridgestone says it agreed to reconsider Minardi's request and sent a proposal to the team for the supply of tyres for the 2003 season. This does not seem to tie in with what Minardi Paul Stoddart has been saying about contacts with the Japanese tyre manufacturer.
Bridgestone says it is looking forward to a successful conclusion to its negotiations with Minardi.
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