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How strategy could play a key role in latest Red Bull/Ferrari fight

After an early fight in the Sprint, the battle between Red Bull and Ferrari looks set to continue into Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, and data from Saturday's event could prove crucial when it comes to strategy decisions.

Max Verstappen will start the Austrian Grand Prix from pole position after taking victory in Saturday's Sprint, and strategy could prove to be all-important in the Dutchman's quest for another win. Pirelli are expecting the quickest strategy to be a one-stopper, going from the Medium to the Hard tyre. However, any cars starting out of position may consider opening with the Hard, before switching to either the Medium or the Soft for the final stint. A two-stop strategy could be a possibility, though is slower under normal circumstances. However, Pirelli advise that the best way to optimise this would be to use all three tyre compounds, in the order of the Medium, followed by the Hard, and then the Soft. The likelihood of a two-stopper could be influenced by the high probability of a Safety Car at the Red Bull Ring. Another factor that could impact race strategy is the weather. Whilst rain is forecast to hit the area during the morning, the Grand Prix itself is expected to be dry. However, earlier rainfall might affect the track's condition. Track temperatures on Sunday are anticipated to be similar to those on Saturday, meaning that data collected during the Sprint could prove very relevant.

Isola reflects on tyre choices for Austrian GP

Looking back at Saturday's Sprint race, Pirelli boss Mario Isola felt that the event offered a good insight into which tyre compounds will be the most effective during Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix. "The teams were able to get some useful long run data on the Medium during the Sprint: good information for the race, which looks likely to be a Medium to Hard one-stopper, as also confirmed by the performance of the tyres [in the Sprint]," he explained. "Both compounds performed well, with the Medium being the more conservative choice that made it the most popular option for the Sprint. "The Soft was chosen by four drivers starting from further down the grid, and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll used it well to make up four places."

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