With the tyre regulations changing for this weekend’s new experimental format, drivers are not obliged to start the 100km sprint race on the tyres with which they set their fastest laps in qualifying. There is also free tyre choice for Sunday’s grand prix.

Although the medium tyre was tipped to be the tyre favoured for the sprint race, Isola said he wouldn’t be surprised to see alternative tyre strategies used for the 17-lap sprint, which does not feature a mandatory pit stop.

Isola pointed to last year’s degradation levels at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on what is now the soft compound as an example of when drivers were able to run longer stints than expected at Silverstone.

“It's difficult to predict if the teams are going to use just the medium for the sprint qualifying or also the soft,” Isola explained.

“Because, if you look back at the second race for example that we had in Silverstone last year [the 70th Anniversary GP], where the soft compound that we have this week was the medium compound, we had some drivers that were able to run stints longer than the sprint qualifying on the soft without high degradation.

“We had for example Ocon, Leclerc, Stroll, Raikkonen and Giovinazzi. They were all running long stints on the C3 compound. So I believe that considering that last year, we had similar conditions in terms of temperature, that's a good indication of what they can choose.

“Honestly, before coming here, I was more or less convinced that everybody was trying to run the sprint qualifying on the medium compound. But today if you're asking me, I'm not so sure. And probably we can see a mix of soft and medium compound for the sprint qualifying.”

No driver starting the sprint qualifying race inside the top 10 has a fresh set of soft tyres available, but they could still gamble on the softest rubber to favour early performance over durability.

Isola believes drivers towards the back of the grid are more likely to opt for softs given there is less to lose with points only on offer for the top-three finishers.

“If it happens, obviously, it is very interesting, because with this new format, everybody was thinking that the sprint qualifying is with the same compound for everybody,” he added. “Maybe it's not.

"I believe that if you look at the previous races, there are some cars that are able to use the tyres in in a better way compared to others. I cannot exclude that somebody, especially in the back could try to run the soft, and maybe attack at the beginning.

"It's only 17 laps, so it's not a very long race where they will push as much as possible. And for some drivers in the back, I don't want to say there is nothing to lose, but they can try something different for sure.”