LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - American-based tyre manufacturer Cooper and Michelin have emerged as possible suppliers for Formula One next season in place of departing Bridgestone.
“As a major motorsport tyre manufacturer Cooper Tire, through its Avon Tyres Motorsport operation, has been approached to supply Formula One,” a spokesman for Cooper said on Wednesday.
“The company is in discussion with the relevant parties and cannot comment further at this stage.”
Formula One needs to find a new supplier after Japanese company Bridgestone said they would be pulling out at the end of this season after 14 years in the sport.
Bridgestone have been the sole supplier since 2007, after competing against Goodyear in 1997 and 1998 and Michelin from 2001 to 2006.
British-based Avon Motorsport supply tyres to racing series around the world, including sportscars and the Formula Two and Formula Three championships.
Michelin have also been approached about a possible return, with the French company reportedly wanting a switch to bigger wheel rims to suit the lower profile tyres that it already produces for sportscar racing.
“Michelin has made a proposal that is under evaluation to make sure that it is the best proposal from the technical point of view and the commercial point of view,” Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali told reporters in China at the weekend.
“On the other hand I know that there is a possible discussion to have another tyre competitor who can be ready to come for next year,” he added.
“I think we will know something more, I would say 100 percent, by Barcelona (the Spanish Grand Prix on May 9). So by Barcelona the situation of tyres should be almost clear if not defined.”
Editing by John Mehaffey; To query anything on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org