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Why the Japanese GP could cause a headache for strategists

Pirelli have given an insight into possible strategy choices for the Japanese Grand Prix, with the weekend's mixed weather conditions so far posing an extra conundrum for the teams.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen will start Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix from pole position, having beaten the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc by just 0.014 seconds. The Dutchman could potentially secure his second World Championship at Suzuka, though events must go in his favour for this to happen. Additionally, the weekend's mixed weather conditions so far could prove to be a crucial factor in terms of determining strategy choices. Friday's running took place in wet conditions, while the final practice session on Saturday morning remained unaffected by rain, meaning that the teams are lacking dry data ahead of the Grand Prix. Pirelli have given an insight into what could be the most effective strategies for the race.

Pirelli outline best strategy options in Singapore

According to Pirelli, the best strategy – at least on paper – could be a two-stopper using the Soft and Medium tyres. One way to do this would be to use the Medium compound once during the middle stint. Alternatively, those who have two Medium sets left might opt to run the Soft before two Medium stints. A one-stop strategy may also be possible, though this is dependent on degradation rates. The options here could be to either switch from Soft to Hard or Medium to Hard; the latter may be slightly slower, but requires less management. Ultimately, Pirelli believe that a wide range of strategies are available, with all tyre compounds able to play a valid role in the race. However, the weather conditions could be the deciding factor in which route everyone decides to take. There remains the possibility of rain falling during the Grand Prix, while temperatures look set to be slightly cooler than on Saturday. As such, the Soft tyre may be preferable, while the wet weather data that the teams collected on Friday could prove to be beneficial should the rainfall return on Sunday.

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