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Austrian Grand Prix 2023

Why question marks remain over strategy choices in Austria

Max Verstappen will start from pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix, but which strategy option might the Red Bull driver elect for during the race?

Max Verstappen will be looking for his seventh race win of the 2023 Formula 1 season at the Austrian Grand Prix, but question marks remain over which strategy will be the most effective.

Pirelli have outlined the range of strategy options available to the teams and drivers ahead of the event, with the expectation being that a two-stop plan could be the quickest.

However, given that only one practice session has taken place during F1's visit to the Red Bull Ring due to the addition of the Sprint, the tyre manufacturer acknowledges that the lack of data has made it difficult to provide detailed analysis of tyre behaviour.

Additionally, weather conditions are forecast to be very different to Saturday's wet-dry running, with a warm and dry day expected for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Isola assesses Austrian GP strategy options

Following Saturday's Sprint race – won by Verstappen – Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola reflected on the possible tyre and strategy choices for Sunday's event.

"As predicted, the rain played its part [on Saturday], but [Sunday] is expected to be dry with temperatures considerably higher than [on Saturday], although not to the level we saw in FP1," Isola explained.

"With just one free practice session, there is not that much data available with which to produce an extensive analysis of tyre behaviour over a long run, but we think the Soft will not really be used, thus the choice comes down to the Medium and the Hard.

"On paper, the fastest strategy seems to be a two-stop, starting on the Medium, switching to Hard and then back to Medium. Or for those who have two sets of C3 available, another stint on the hardest tyre.

"The one-stop (Medium-Hard) could also be competitive, but looking at how last year's race played out, it is a less attractive option than making two pit stops."

Isola also offered Pirelli's condolences following the death of 18-year-old Dilano van 't Hoff in a FRECA race at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, adding: "It is a tragedy, which once again reminds us that racing can sometimes be a cruel sport and the extent to which safety must always be an imperative for all those involved in motorsport."

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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