Pirelli to Make F1 Tire Offer in Spain

As revealed by Williams' technical director Sam Michael yesterday morning, there are now only two players fighting for the tire supplying role inside the Formula One Championship from 2011 onwards: French company Michelin and the North Americans from Cooper Avon. However, it now seems that a third party will join the mix pretty soon.

We're talking about well-known tire manufacturer Pirelli, who has an extensive experience in motor racing – especially in the rallying world – and has confirmed it will talk to the F1 teams (the Formula One Teams Association, that is) about a potential partnership in the weeks to come. Most likely, such a meeting will take place in the eve of the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix, scheduled for May 7-9 at Barcelona.

In a statement on Thursday, the Italian tire manufacturer admitted it will “present... an offer for the supply of tires to all the teams in the F1 championship.” This comes only a week after chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera admitted that his company would consider entering the Great Circus on certain conditions: increasing the diameter of the tires and financial sense for such a move.

After the FOTA meeting on Wednesday, Michael said however that the teams are now in a dilemma over picking one of only two tire suppliers – Michelin and Cooper Avon – with the Pirelli option not being mentioned.

Avon's a lot cheaper (than Michelin) but it's a less proven product although they've done plenty of highly competitive tires. They (Avon) are a bigger unknown than Michelin because Michelin did it (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,” said Michael on Thursday, in an interview with Reuters.
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