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How strategy is key to Verstappen sealing his 15th victory of 2022

Max Verstappen can extend his record of 14 victories in a season if he wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. There are at least three strategies Red Bull can adopt to achieve this.

With Max Verstappen starting from pole position in Abu Dhabi, the Dutchman is looking to secure his 15th victory of the 2022 season. Behind him, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc come into the race level on points battling over P2 , as Red Bull look to secure their first 1-2 in the Drivers' Championship. According to Pirelli, a two-stop strategy might be the fastest option for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This is due to increased tyre degradation compared to last year’s race, which has created question marks surrounding pre-event simulations. Two pit-stops, with an average loss of 22 seconds for each tyre change, is projected to be four to five seconds faster than a single stop.

Two-stop the quickest strategy

Two options are considered the fastest: Medium-Hard-Medium or Medium-Hard-Hard. Both options would mean pitting between lap 14 and 23, before pitting around lap 37 to complete the final stint on either the medium or hard compound. Completing the final stint on soft tyres is possible, but less likely as it will not be a competitive strategy. A one-stop is possible, which would entail starting on the Medium then switching to the Hard, however this would mean managing degradation. Other options for a one-stop strategy include starting on the Soft then switching to the Hard or Hard-Soft, however this would rely on a Safety Car playing an important role.