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Page last updated at 07:05 GMT, Sunday, 18 April 2010 08:05 UK

Two companies in frame to supply 2011 Formula 1 tyres

Fernando Alonso points to the Michelin badge on his cap after winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006
Michelin could be making a return to F1 in 2011

Two tyre companies are in the frame to supply Formula 1 in 2011.

Bridgestone is pulling out at the end of the season and France's Michelin and Anglo-American company Cooper Avon are in talks over replacing them.

Michelin was last in F1 in 2006, when it won the title with Fernando Alonso and Renault.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone told BBC Sport: "We're trying to make an agreement. I don't mind [which company] as long as the teams are happy."

BBC Sport understands that the teams would prefer Michelin as there are concerns over the much smaller Avon's capacity to do the job, even though it is believed the plan is for it to use tyres supplied by Bridgestone.

Michelin also has vastly more experience in F1 than Avon.


The teams are keen to get the situation resolved as soon as possible because it has an impact on the designs of the 2011 cars.

A switch to Michelin would involve the introduction of 18-inch wheel rims, rather than the 13-inch wheels currently used.

This would have a huge impact on car design as it would fundamentally change the suspension set-up and the way the teams designed the cars to handle bumps.

At the moment, the taller tyre sidewalls are effectively used as part of the suspension to absorb bumps, but the smaller sidewalls of the lower-profile tyres that would come with 18-inch wheels would be less effective at that, so the suspension would have to be changed to accommodate it.

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see also
Bridgestone to end F1 tie in 2010
02 Nov 09 |  Formula 1

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