Michelin or Avon tyres for 2011 season? 29 Apr 2010
Formula One teams are set to give their backing to the use of either Michelin or Cooper Avon tyres for 2011, following Bridgestones withdrawal at the end of this season. That is according to Williams technical director Sam Michael, following a teams meeting on Wednesday.
Bridgestone announced last November plans to end their F1 involvement after four seasons as the sports sole supplier, opening the door to other manufacturers, and Michael says the teams have narrowed their preferred shortlist to two.
"The conversations really, at this point, are between Michelin and Avon," Michael told news agency Reuters. "Avon's a lot cheaper, but it's a less proven product although they've done plenty of highly competitive tyres.
Michelin have recent Formula One experience, their last spell of competition coming between 2001 and 2006, during which time they won 43 Grands Prix and four world titles. Avon too are no strangers to motorsport, though their past F1 involvement is more limited, with 22 race starts, mainly in the early 1980s.
"They (Avon) are a bigger unknown than Michelin because Michelin did it (F1) very recently, added Michael. 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."
Other topics discussed by the teams included the possible return of KERS for 2011. Michael reported that Renault have offered to supply any team with a system, with Ferrari willing to do the same for teams using their engines, all at affordable prices.
Williams would almost certainly use an internally developed flywheel KERS, after the teams recent purchase of a controlling share in Williams Hybrid Power.