After an exciting and dangerous race in Silverstone, England, Formula 1 fans, drivers and teams are eagerly awaiting the Santander-sponsored German Gran Prix in Nürburgring this weekend (July 6-7).
Triple World Champion Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) still leads the driver standings with 132 points, while Fernando Alonso(Ferrari, sponsored by Banco Santander) and Kimi Räikkönen(Lotus) trail him with 111 and 98 points, respectively.
The Santander-sponsored Formula 1 race in Silverstone, England, caused much controversy due to several rear-left tire failures that resulted in explosions.
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Ross) and Sergio Pérez (McLaren) all suffered from tire issues, while Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) claimed his second win this season by 0.7 seconds. Perez is a Santander-sponsored driver.
Since then, several Formula 1 drivers have expressed mixed feelings about the changes and safety.
“Now, our greatest concern revolves around safety. Even if I can’t really tell what happened, it’s unacceptable having to drive knowing you are not safe,” Massa said. “Even if, luckily, nothing serious happened, what we saw is very dangerous.”
The Silverstone tire burst nearly created a crash between Lewis Hamilton, who was leading the race, and Felipe Massa. Luckily, all drivers came out of the race unharmed.
To ensure the safety of the drivers, Pirelli will use Kevlar-belted tires that were recently tested in Canada in the German Grand Prix.
A new range of tires will be introduced for the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Budapest, Hungary.
The tires used in Silverstone were different from the ones used in previous races, with Pirelli introducing a stronger bonding process in an attempt to prevent tire failures that occurred earlier in the season. Pirelli, the world’s fifth-largest tire manufacturer, has been sole supplier for Formula 1 since 2011, and its contract is due to expire at the end of this season.