It's Michelin Vs. Cooper Avon for the 2011 F1 Deal

The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) met during the course of this week to discuss several topics of top importance for the future of the sport, including the return of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) and the switch to a new tire supplier for the 2011 F1 season.

If the KERS issue has already been covered in one of our previous reports, the 2011 tire supplier discussion seems to revolve around two major tire manufacturers: French company Michelin and North American maker Cooper Avon. The information has been revealed by Williams' technical director Sam Michael.

The conversations really, at this point, are between Michelin and Avon. Avon's a lot cheaper (than Michelin) but it's a less proven product although they've done plenty of highly competitive tires,” said Michael in an interview with the Reuters news agency.

They are a bigger unknown than Michelin because Michelin did it (in F1) very recently. But there is a significant difference in cost and you are probably talking over three times the difference in cost to the teams. So that's what's being debated at the moment,” added the Australian official, hinting that a definitive decision will unlikely be reached by the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix.

Earlier this month, Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali and McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh – who is also the new head of the FOTA – expressed their belief that a decision on the future F1 supplier will be made until Barcelona. However, while the championship's big gunners are in favor of another partnership with Michelin (the French company partnered the series until 2006), the small, independent ones will most likely seek a Cooper Avon deal.

Both Michelin and Cooper Avon have announced plans to switch to 18-inch tires in case they'll secure an entry into F1, but only in exchange of financial retribute.
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