Pirelli predicts last-minute pitstops in the German Grand Prix

Formula 1 fans could be treated to a German Grand Prix that is decided in the closing stages, with Pirelli believing that drivers could opt to make last-minute changes to the medium compound tyres

With current data suggesting that there is a 1.5 seconds laptime difference between the soft and the medium compound tyres, the strategy prediction is pointing towards a less than usual approach to the races.

Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery suspects that if it stays dry, then drivers could try and get through as much of the race as possible with two sets of soft tyres - before stopping as late as possible for the slower medium tyre.

"We had a pre-race prediction for 20 laps with the soft, but now some teams are looking at 30 laps," he told AUTOSPORT. "That means it will likely be one or two stops.

"One strategy we would actually like to see is for drivers to run the softs right until the end, and then they make a mad dash to the pits for the last three or four laps to run the hard.

"Some, however, will try and stretch the first set of soft tyres for as long as possible and then stick the medium on to try out a one-stop."

Hembery says that degradation on the medium tyre is almost non-existent, with the track surface and corner characteristics not punishing the rubber too much.

"It's wearing very little," he said. "Our current lap prediction is for 100 laps, so it could do two races. At the start of the season everyone said we weren't able to do that, but we always said that we were.

"It's cold here, the track is not particularly severe, and the teams are clearly learning how to use the tyres very well, either by driving style or set-up. All the teams have increased their return on each set of tyres.

"So we're in a strange situation where at Turkey everyone was worrying that we were going towards four stops, and we're actually now worrying we're becoming too conservative and could end up going back to one-stop. It's become a moving target with the teams, car development, and weather scenarios."

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