UK-based tyre manufacturer Cooper Avon has confirmed it is in talks with Formula One bosses about entering the sport as a supplier next season.
Rumours that Avon has been approached by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone emerged at last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, although the F1 teams are believed to have agreed in principle a deal with Michelin about a supply for 2011 to replace Bridgestone.
The firm has now confirmed the approach and said that talks are ongoing.
Avon, which was sold to Ohio-based Cooper in 1997, said in a statement: "The company is in discussion with the relevant parties and cannot comment further at this stage."
Michelin is keen to have competition if it is to re-enter the sport next season. It is also keen for F1 cars to switch from 13-inch to 18-inch wheels to make its tyres more relevant to its road and sports car projects.
Reports claim that Bridgestone could remain involved in the sport behind the scenes next year by supplying tyre technology to Avon. Team bosses expect the tyre issue to be resolved by the time the F1 circus reaches Barcelona next month.