Bridgestone Corporation is to pull out of Formula One racing, citing the continuing changes in the business environment for its decision.

The company said it would not enter into a new tyre supply contract with the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1) series when its current contract expires at the end of the 2010 season. Bridgestone has supplied tyres to F1 for 13 years and has been the exclusive supplier to the series since 2007.

Bridgestone has been struggling along with much of the auto industry with the global downturn. In August, the company reported a first half operating loss of JPY20bn ($209.8m) compared to a JPY83.7bn profit a year earlier. That said the Japanese tyre company increased its full year operating profit forecast on the back of significant expense reduction initiatives.

Today, the company said: "In addressing the impact of the continuing evolution of the business environment on its decision, the company focused on the need to redirect its resources towards the further intensive development of those innovative technologies and strategic products which support the company's goals and further enhance the company's reputation as a technology leader."

Bridgestone's decision adds to series of recent high profile F1 withdrawals which included Honda selling its team.

As well as the financial pressures currently being exerted on auto suppliers, industry analysts also point to a change in consumer attitudes amongst consumers, away from the glamour of motor racing towards issues such as the environment and cost-efficient driving, changes at odds with an association with Formula One.

Bridgestone said it was committed to supporting F1 and the series' teams through to the completion of the 2010 season.