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Italian Grand Prix 2023

Mercedes at potential disadvantage to rivals in Italian GP strategy

How much of a disadvantage could Mercedes find itself at to Ferrari and Red Bull at Monza?

Verstappen Sainz Italy Ferrari Red Bull 2023
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To news overview © XPBimages

Heading into the Italian Grand Prix, it looks as if the race will be a straight fight between Ferrari and Red Bull - but Mercedes will be hoping to gate-crash the Monza party.

George Russell starts fourth behind Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc but ahead of Sergio Perez with Lewis Hamilton down in eighth.

But after practice and qualifying, both British drivers find themselves heading into the race with a lack of brand-new Hard compound tyres - a luxury the other four drivers all possess.

This stems back to Q1 where the team burned the second set the others were able to save, handing them a fresh batch of the Hard rubber that Pirelli expects to be the favoured race tyre.

Pirelli believes that the ideal strategy for the race is a one-stopper, starting on the Medium tyres, of which all of the front-runners have at least one brand-new set.

It si expected to run until Laps 20-26, before the Hard is bolted on for the run to the flag on Lap 53.

Alternatively, starting on the Softs (of which none of the 10 on the grid have a fresh set) and going to Laps 14-20 before switching to the Hards is another option.

A third strategy could be a two-stopper going Soft-Medium-Medium, but owing ot the long pitlane and Monza and high speeds, this is not a favoured option as teams want to speed as little time as possible in the pits.

F1 2023 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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