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Is Hamilton at a disadvantage to Verstappen and Alonso on Canada strategy?

Pirelli's predicted strategy for the Canadian Grand Prix could have Lewis Hamilton at a disadvantage to Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso.

Lewis Hamilton could potentially be at a disadvantage to both Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso on Formula 1 strategy in the Canadian Grand Prix, according to Pirelli. With the white-walled Hard compound expected to be the favoured race tyre in Montreal, the Mercedes driver only has one set available to him. Both Verstappen and Alonso - who was promoted to the front-row after Nico Hulkenberg's penalty - have two fresh sets available. Pirelli's prediction is for a two-stopper race, with a first stint on the yellow Medium tyres widely expected until the first stops somewhere between Laps 15 and 22. A 25-lap stint on a set of Hards is then expected before a second stop around Laps 40-48 for the run to the flag.

Could the Safety Car help?

Owing to the high-speed nature of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, there is a 50% probability of a Safety Car being deployed - meaning Hamilton could use this potential disadvantage to aid him. Should Mercedes elect to start on the Hard tyres - with George Russell in a similar position - they could run long and 'goal hang' for a Safety Car. This would give them the opportunity to have an effective 'free-stop' and switch to the Mediums until the end, if the Safety Car comes deep enough into the 70-lap race. Owing to the heavy rain-fall yesterday in Qualifying, all drivers have a plentiful stock of slick tyres, although the red-marked C5 Soft tyre is not expected to feature much in the opening stages. Friday's race simulations led to heavy graining on the tyres, meaning teams will be reluctant to use the rubber but, should there be a Safety Car with 10 or so laps to go, it could be an enticing prospect for someone to take a gamble with.

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