BAKU, Azerbaijan -- The Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be a one-stop race if all goes to plan, but as with previous races this year the timing of the single pit stop will be all important.
Pirelli reported minimal degradation after Friday practice, but with track temperatures expected to be hotter on Sunday there will be an element of the unknown going into the race. A fresh set of super-softs on low fuel are a second a lap quicker than a fresh set of softs, making the super-soft the tyre to be on if rear degradation remains under control.
For those starting on the softer compound an overcut will be a potential strategy option to move ahead of drivers making an early switch to softs, but it's worth noting that the hotter conditions should suit the soft compound, which is a high working range compound. So, if those attempting an overcut do encounter rear degradation towards the end of the run, the soft could prove that the traditional undercut is the winning strategy.
Don't expect to see the medium tyre make an appearance as it is another second a lap slower than the softs new for new. The only possible strategy that would suit the mediums is if a Safety Car is deployed in the first ten laps, but even then the pace disadvantage of the harder tyre would likely counter the 'free' pit stop over the rest of the race.