Cooper Avon have confirmed that they are interested in entering the Formula One arena and supplying the sport with tyres in 2011.
The announcement follows days of speculation that the tyres company is joining Michelin as one of two possible candidates to replace Bridgestone at the end of the 2010 season.
Cooper Avon confirmed: “As a major motorsport tyre manufacturer, Cooper Tyre, through its Avon Tyres Motorsport operation, has been approached to supply Formula 1. The company is in discussion with the relevant parties and cannot comment further at this stage.”
With the departure of the Japanese tyre supplier at the end of 2009, F1 is looking for a new manufacturer. It seems FOTA have in principle agreed to Michelin’s demands, which involve the introduction of an 18-inch wheel, rather than the current 13-inches.
However, the Michelin contract includes payment from each team, something the smaller teams are not happy about and neither, apparently, is commerical rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone.
It’s thought Ecclestone is backing the supply contract from Cooper Avon, rather than ex-supplier, Michelin, despite telling the BBC that he didn’t mind which company succeeded.
“We’re trying to make an agreement. I don’t mind [which company] as long as the teams are happy.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team