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Bahrain Grand Prix 2023

How strategy could play a key role in the Bahrain GP

Max Verstappen will start from pole position for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, but which strategy option might Red Bull elect for during the race?

Verstappen Bahrain
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen kicked off his title defence by taking pole position for the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, but strategy could prove to be a crucial factor in his chances of claiming victory.

Pirelli have outlined the range of strategy options available to the teams and drivers ahead of the event, with the expectation being that the race will be a two-stop event.

According to the tyre manufacturer, the fastest option is to start the race on the Soft tyre before switching to the Hard.

The final stint could then be completed on either the Soft or the Hard, depending on which tyres the driver has available, though the Soft is theoretically faster overall.

Another possible strategy is to run a Soft-Medium-Soft or Soft-Hard-Medium plan for those wanting to use the Medium compound. However, both of these options are slower.

A one-stop strategy would be incredibly challenging given the high levels of tyre degradation at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Isola reflects on qualifying for Bahrain GP

After Saturday's qualifying, Pirelli boss Mario Isola suggested that the new Hard compound could be particularly important in Sunday's race.

"As we fully expected, the majority of teams used the Soft tyre in FP3 to prepare for qualifying," Isola explained.

"Red Bull was the only team to use the Hard as well, without compromising the availability of this compound for the race – as each driver has two sets available.

"The new Hard is sure to be a key to the race tomorrow. Qualifying was run entirely on the Soft, given the performance gaps between the compounds, with Verstappen beating last year's pole time from Charles Leclerc.

"The fact that this year's pole was around eight-tenths faster, in similar conditions, underlines the increased performance of the 2023 car-tyre package."

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Check out the video below:

F1 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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