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Can strategy help Red Bull join Ferrari and Mercedes in the fight for victory?

With George Russell taking a surprise pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix, there are several interesting strategy choices available for the race.

Strategy could play a crucial role in the Hungarian Grand Prix, a race in which George Russell will start from pole position for the first time. The Mercedes driver will be joined on the front row by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, while the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez find themselves back in 10th and 11th respectively. According to Pirelli, the event could either be a one-stopper or a two-stopper, with Friday's practice running suggesting that the Soft compound is a viable race tyre as part of either strategy. For a one-stop strategy, teams could opt for the Soft to begin with before switching to the Hard, or alternatively they could run Medium to Hard, which would require less tyre management over the opening stint. Pirelli expect that most drivers will stop only once, in order to safeguard track position, but the two-stop is also thought to be a good strategy, being very close to a one-stop in terms of overall time. For those who make two stops, the obvious choice is thought to be a Soft to Medium to Medium. However, the possibility of Soft to Medium to Soft could be an interesting one, allowing cars to run much lighter towards the end of the race.

How Russell benefitted from track evolution

Pirelli's Motorsport Director, Mario Isola, admits that Russell made the most of the changing track conditions in order to set the fastest lap of all. "Congratulations to George for his first pole: he put together an ideal lap at exactly the right moment to secure a P1 start," Isola said. "Today hasn't been easy with the changing conditions: although it was dry for qualifying, tomorrow's weather is still uncertain, with cool conditions expected again. "With the track 'reset' as a result of the earlier rain, we saw a lot of track evolution during qualifying, which meant that setting a fast lap at the last possible moment was key to getting a good time."

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