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How strategy will be key in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

It is likely that a one-stop strategy will be fastest in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but there are other options at the circuit that could end up throwing up a surprise Safety Car or stoppage.

There are three possible strategies that can be used to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, all of which involve a one-stop strategy. As shown in the Sprint race on Saturday, tyre graining is a big issue for the teams to contend with on the softer compound tyres. Those who started on the Soft found themselves towards the back of the field at the finish, so it is likely that the Medium tyre will be used most along with the Hard. F1 tyre supplier Pirelli say the fastest strategy is to start on the Medium tyre before switching to the Hard tyres between Laps 13 and 20. An alternative would be to start on the Hard tyre and switch to the Soft between Laps 38 and 45. It is possible to go on a two-stop strategy, which is slower on paper but could yield results if there is a stoppage. The first option is to start on the Medium, then a swap to the Hard between Laps 8 to 16, then another set of Hards between Laps 27 to 35. It is possible to start on the Medium and switch to the Medium again on Laps 10 to 15, followed by a final stint on Hards between Laps 25 and 30.

Isola warns of Safety Cars and stoppages

Pirelli Head of Motorsport, Mario Isola, believes teams will need to be wary of any stoppages or Safety Car periods, as was seen in the Sprint and support races this weekend at the Baku City Circuit. "From our point of view, an initial view of the data suggests a one-stopper to be the mostly likely strategy, probably using medium and hard," he said. "A total of 18 drivers will have two sets of Hard tyres available, which would allow them to capitalise on any eventual neutralisations: distinctly possible on this street track, as we saw today both in the Formula 2 Sprint Race and the Formula 1 Sprint."

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