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The 'uncertain' factor affecting strategy choices at the Monaco GP

With overtaking notoriously difficult at the Monaco Grand Prix, strategy could prove to be crucial. Which option will pole-sitter Max Verstappen choose in his bid to claim victory?

Max Verstappen will start from pole position for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, but strategy could prove to be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the race. Pirelli have outlined the range of strategy options available to the teams and drivers ahead of the event, with the expectation being that the race will be a one-stop for most. According to the tyre manufacturer, the fastest option is to make a stop as soon as possible during the 78-lap Grand Prix. The optimum strategy looks to involve running the Medium tyre for the first stint before switching to the Hard compound between Laps 20 and 25. Alternatively, drivers could begin the race on the Soft tyre and change to the Hard between Laps 15 and 20, or could opt for the reverse. The choice over which compound to start the event on could be the most "uncertain" factor involved, according to Pirelli boss Mario Isola.

Isola hails 'spectacular' Monaco qualifying

After a thrilling end to Saturday's qualifying – during which Verstappen pipped Fernando Alonso to pole in the dying moments – Isola has hailed the session as "one of the most spectacular and unpredictable qualifying sessions in the recent history of Formula 1". While the session confirmed that the gaps between drivers' lap times are "very small", Pirelli were also able to take away some key learnings about their tyres. "From a technical point of view, we confirmed the versatility of the Soft compound, which made it possible to do several flying laps with cool-down laps in between," Isola explained. "The track evolved significantly throughout the day and during each session, which added even more uncertainty. Usually one of the highlights of the Monaco Grand Prix is Saturday but after [qualifying] we can't wait to find out what comes next." In terms of strategy on Sunday, Isola continued: "We don’t expect many strategic surprises: a single stop is the way to go, with the Hard tyre as the main choice. "However, which tyre to start the race on is more uncertain: the Soft tyre certainly offers more grip at the start, but the Medium has a wider window of use, with a better chance to make the most of any Safety Cars."

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