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DATE News (chronologically)
05/17/10
f1
Cooper Avon in bid for F1 tires  UPDATE #2 Stefano Domenicali has ruled out Avon Cooper's bid to supply the F1 teams will tires, saying there are "only two possibilities".

The teams met in Monaco on Sunday with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to discuss next year's tire situation, needing to find a replacement for Bridgestone, who are set to leave the sport.

No decision was reached, though, Domenicali revealed that have narrowed it down to two of three with Michelin and Pirelli the "only" candidates being considered.

"No decision has been taken yet," said Domenicali. "I think another week and maybe by next weekend hopefully we will be able to find a solution.

"There are still only two possibilities - Michelin and Pirelli. I don't see any other option."

Meanwhile, Renault team boss Eric Boullier is hoping for a solution ahead of the next grand prix in Turkey.

04/20/10 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today.  Avon has confirmed reports it is a potential supplier of tires in formula one next year.

The name entered the frame as a potential replacement for F1's departing sole supplier Bridgestone in China last weekend, amid suggestions the teams group FOTA had agreed an in-principle deal with Michelin.

But with the famous French marque wanting to be paid and pushing for regulations allowing much lower profile tires, it was rumored Avon was favored by Bernie Ecclestone and the smaller teams as a non-branded and cheaper option.

UK based Avon, supplier to the defunct A1GP open wheeler series, was sold to Ohio based Cooper in 1997.

Its motor racing division said in a statement that it "has been approached" to supply tires to F1 teams.

"The company is in discussion with the relevant parties and cannot comment further at this stage," said Avon Cooper.

It is rumored that Bridgestone could remain quietly involved beyond this year as the non-official supplier of technology and personnel to Avon.

F1 team bosses Martin Whitmarsh and Stefano Domenicali said they are confident the issue will be resolved by the next race in Barcelona.

"I think we will know something more, I would say 100 per cent, by Barcelona," Ferrari's Domenicali said before departing Shanghai.

04/17/10 (GMM)  Another name has entered the frame as a potential replacement for F1's departing tire supplier Bridgestone.

Until Saturday, it was thought that the formula one teams association FOTA had essentially agreed with Michelin that the French marque should re-enter the sport in 2011.

Michelin would charge a few million euros per team, and demand a change of the rules so that its existing technologies - including low-profile tires for Le Mans - are more relevant to F1.

But in Shanghai, as team bosses got together at the Chinese venue for a FOTA meeting, it emerged that a rival solution is on the table -- championed by Bernie Ecclestone and quietly backed by a number of small teams.

Writing for his new column for the Sunday Times, former driver and British commentator Martin Brundle said Ecclestone prefers "a non-branded and much cheaper option" than FOTA's Michelin deal.

The sport would use "a company such as Avon for supply, using the current (13-inch) wheels and tire diameter", Brundle revealed.

Crucially, Williams' chief executive Adam Parr said earlier in China that Ecclestone has been empowered by the F1 Commission "to negotiate and find" the solution to Bridgestone's departure.

"Nobody's better equipped to do it than him, so I'm sure we will get what we need," he added.

Also hinting at the newly-touted Avon solution, Peter Sauber added that the idea of "tires for free" in 2011 is "possible".

It is believed the issue will progress on Sunday, with rumors Ecclestone will meet with FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh.

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