With Bridgestone's hegemony on supplying tires to Formula One set to end this year, rubber companies are lining up en masse to grasp at the opportunity to take its place. We recently reported on Michelin's ambitions, but the French tire company isn't the only option being considered. According to Sam Michael, technical director for the Williams team, the options have been narrowed down to Michelin or Cooper Avon. Pirelli, however, has also announced its interest in returning to the championship.

All three of the candidates have participated in the series at one point or another: Michelin from 1977-1984 and again from 2001-2006, Avon from 1954-58 and again in '81-82, and Pirelli in the '50s and '80s. However Michelin, the largest of the three, could prove the most problematic, given the conditions it's demanding and the notorious debacle at Indy in 2005 that led to the demise of the United States Grand Prix.

No further word at this point on the purported candidacy of Korean rubber companies Hankook or Kumho, but with the Formula One Teams Association set to deliberate and decide on the matter shortly, we'll be finding out soon enough.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty]