Pirelli has officially confirmed its intention to apply to become Formula 1's official tire supplier from next season. The Milan-based company announced it will present an offer to the FIA and the teams with the intention to supplying its tires to the full field.
"Pirelli communicates its decision to present a technical and commercial offer for supply of tires to all the teams in the Formula 1 world championship," said Pirelli in a statement. "The company plans to present the bid to FIA and Formula One Administration, Ltd. by May 9, the date of the next Formula 1 Grand Prix to be held in Spain."
Pirelli's statement comes after Williams technical director Sam Michael said following a FOTA meeting that the teams were set to choose between Michelin and Cooper Avon.
"The conversations really, at this point, are between Michelin and Avon," Michael told the Reuters news agency. "Avon's a lot cheaper (than Michelin) but it's a less proven product, although they've done plenty of highly competitive tires. They are a bigger unknown than Michelin because Michelin did it (in 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. So that's what's being debated at the moment."
Paul Hembery, Pirelli's motorsport director, brushed aside Michael's comments. "I stand by the press release we have just issued," he said. "Last week we said we wanted to make a study into this, we've made that study and progressed to a formal offer."
Pirelli's last spell in Formula 1 was from 1989 to 1991.