The Cooper Avon tyre company has confirmed it is in talks with a view to become a potential tyre supplier for the 2011 season.
However, Michelin’s entry appears to be contingent on a change to regulations allowing much lower-profile tyres in addition to being paid by the teams for the supply deal, something that will no doubt displease the smaller teams on much tighter budgets.
It is rumoured that Avon is now favoured as a better, non-branded and cheaper option by these teams and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
The UK-based Avon group – which supplied tyres to the collapsed A1GP series – was purchased by the US-based Cooper group in 1997.
In a statement, its motor racing division confirmed that it “has been approached” to supply tyres to F1 teams for 2011 onwards.
"The company is in discussion with the relevant parties and cannot comment further at this stage,” is added.
As part of the deal, it is believed that Bridgestone may have a backstage involvement as a technology and personnel supplier to the Cooper Avon venture.
Several F1 team bosses were confident that more would be known by the next round of the championship in Spain.
"I think we will know something more, I would say 100 per cent, by Barcelona," said Ferrari’s Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali .
[Image via Avon Racing]