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The strategy that could help Verstappen win in Jeddah from 15th

Sergio Perez starts the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from pole, but with Max Verstappen starting from 15th could he make use of tyre strategy to come back and win?

Max Verstappen is no stranger to a comeback drive from outside the top ten and winning a race. The Dutchman starts the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from 15th on the grid, but with teammate Sergio Perez starting the race from pole, strategy is set to play a key role as he works his way through the field. F1 tyre supplier Pirelli says the fastest strategy is set to be a one-stop, with simulations showing the combination of the Medium and Hard tyre set to be slightly quicker than the two other options available. The pit window of the optimal Medium/Hard strategy will be between laps 18 and 25, while those electing to run a Soft/Hard strategy are set to pit between lap 13 and 20. For those running the Medium/Soft this changes to between lap 27 and 34. The only two-stop strategy on offer would involve starting on the Soft, swapping to the Medium between laps 10 and 15, then going back to the Soft between laps 32 and 38.

Isola warns 'high likelihood of neutalisations'

Last year Perez had a potential win taken away from him when he pitted a lap before a Safety Car period, costing him any chance of staying out in the lead. With the high threat of a Safety Car or possible stoppages due to the nature of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, this will also be a main factor in the race according to Pirelli Head of Motorsport, Mario Isola. "From a strategy point of view, all the data collected so far this weekend confirms a one-stopper as being the quickest option, with only small differences between the three possible combinations," he said. "This is also bearing in mind the high likelihood of neutralisations and possible stoppages, from what we have seen at the two previous grands prix held here to date."

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