Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix is all set to provide a tense thriller on the streets of Monte Carlo, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz eager to make up for their Spanish GP disappointment from the front row.
The Scuderia's front row start is a more significant key to overall victory than it would be at any other track, given the incredible difficulty of overtaking around Monaco, which means that pit-stops are even more crucial than usual.
Track position is absolutely everything in Monaco, meaning that multiple-stop strategies simply don't happen – drivers can't afford to get stuck behind another car which they can't overtake.
As a result, Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix is near-guaranteed to see all the teams and drivers take on a one-stop strategy, with the timing of this sole stop being the biggest factor in potentially deciding the outcome.
Which tyre should the drivers start on?
Assuming there are dry conditions, Pirelli say it is a "certainty" that the race will be a one-stop. However, tyre wear rates have been slightly higher than initially predicted, although "degradation is manageable".
The Hard compound thus comes into play as a potential factor, should a driver opt to pull the trigger early on a stop in a bid to undercut the car in front of him.
If there is a straightforward race, the fastest strategy will be to start on the red-marked Soft tyre before switching to the Hard. Alternatively, starting on the Medium before switching to the Hard has little downside, provided the driver doesn't lose a position at the start due to running harder rubber.
A strategy likely to be seen by those wanting to take a gamble on the streets is to start on the Hard compound, and simply keep going as long as possible, giving themselves the greatest flexibility in the event of a (likely) Safety Car or Virtual Safety Car scenario.
However, given the likelihood of being jumped off the line on the Hard tyre, the front-running teams aren't likely to take this risk.
Of course, the weather forecast suggests that the race could be affected by rain. If it is, simply tear up the predictions – Monte Carlo in the wet is usually utter chaos!
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Isola: All three compounds have shown their strengths
Pirelli boss Mario Isola explained how qualifying proved to be very straightforward from a tyre point of view, given that everyone ran the Soft rubber with no degradation issues during the short session.
Yet this compound, used to such great effect by Ferrari over a single lap, won't be as useful over the longer race distance.
"The focus switches to the race, with a chance of rain forecast and maybe cooler temperatures," Isola said.
"Whatever happens, a variety of strategies is possible, with all three of the compounds having already shown that they have an important role to play.
"The Soft was an essential ingredient to qualifying but, with the wear that's been noted, the Medium and Hard tyres are likely to be the focus of the race."
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