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High levels of degradation mean there will be some tyre management needed but the key point that has led to a one-stopper being a strong option at this stage is the pit lane.

The exit point has been extended by roughly 90 metres, meaning drivers are on the pit lane limiter for more time and therefore taking longer to get through the pits, and that’s accentuated by the speed limit being dropped to 60 kilometres an hour, adding further time.

So a green flag pit stop now costs drivers around 27 seconds and will mean they want to avoid making two stops if possible, so the fastest route to the end on average is a one-stopper starting on the medium tyre.

The soft compound is not a tyre that is particularly useful for the opening stint, but the medium allows drivers to run to a pit window between Lap 18 and Lap 27 before switching to the hards and running to the end.

There will be some tyre management involved due to the expected high track temperatures, but the hard is a compound that should see teams through to the end of the race if they opt for this strategy and don’t suffer excessive degradation.

As we saw last time out at the Red Bull Ring, sometimes the pace from a chasing car can force a driver to take more out of their tyres, or a team

might be struggling to look after their Pirellis a little bit more in general, so there are definitely two-stop options that can come into play.

There are two potential strategies that are likely to come to the fore for teams that are unable to make the one-stopper work, and both of them

involve starting on the medium tyre and running a similar number of laps before the first pit stop. With an opening pit window between Lap 13 and

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Lap 20, there’s a lot of variation to allow drivers to have an aggressive first stint if needed, and then in both strategies switch to the hard compound for the middle stint.

But this is where the two choices diverge, and it all depends on the tyre compounds that a driver has left available for the race.

For any driver with two sets of mediums available – that’s Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi – the middle stint needs to take them up to at least Lap 34 (but ideally closer to Lap 40) before they can return to the mediums for the final stint.

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