BUDAPEST, Hungary – The pressure will be on tire manufacturer Pirelli as much as those trying to catch Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.
While Vettel's rivals try to stop him from extending his lead before the mid-season summer break, Pirelli hopes its much-lamented tires withstand the meltingly hot temperatures expected Sunday outside of Budapest.
Last week, the teams held in-season testing sessions at Silverstone to assess new tires provided by Pirelli. Several spectacular blowouts on the same circuit at the British Grand Prix in June prompted a furious response and boycott threat from drivers.
The three-time defending champion Vettel says "we have asked for tires that are safe," and "it's hard to know what to expect here."