Before arriving at Suzuka this weekend, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher spent Wednesday at the global headquarters of Bridgestone, the company who supply F1 with tyres.
Five of Schumacher’s seven titles were achieved with Bridgestone rubber on his car, and his arrival in the Tokyo HQ was met with excitement from the company’s employees. The German met senior figures, including Mr. Shoshi Arakawa, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of Bridgestone.
Schumacher was then presented to the Bridgestone employees by Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, answering questions about his rise to F1, talking about Bridgestone’s strengths and the company’s ‘Make Cars Green’ and ‘Think Before You Drive’ campaigns. The Mercedes driver then visited a tyre dealership store, and was greeted by a select crowd of Bridgestone customers and dealers.
Bridgestone are in their fourteenth year as an official F1 tyre supplier, an era which will end at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. It was therefore somewhat fitting that the most successful driver throughout that period paid them a visit as they prepare to say farewell to the sport.