F1 Fantasy 2022: Australian GP

F1's is back this weekend and so too is Stephen Clibbon's F1 Fantasy preview! Our resident F1 fanatic looks ahead to the third race of the season - the Australian Grand Prix - and shares his top tips for the weekend.

Stephen Clibbon

F1 is back and its race week! Not only is it back after a week off, but we’re back in Australia for the first time since the COVID outbreak.

So, let’s take a look at what we can expect from the Australia GP this weekend and what changes we should be looking to make to our F1 Fantasy teams.

During the short break where F1 didn’t visit Melbourne, the track at Albert Park has undergone a few changes. All the changes that have taken place will offer us faster laps, but it’s designed to increase overtaking throughout the race.

This year, according to the F1 website, it looks as if we will also be seeing 4 DRS zones, which will only increase the chances of us seeing some overtaking action.

But how should we set our F1 Fantasy teams up for the Australia GP?

With all these changes to the circuit this year, power will certainly find it’s way near the top of the leaderboards in all sessions and this most likely will favour the Red Bull cars like we saw at the last race at Jeddah.

We will also likely see the Ferrari right alongside them as we have done in the opening two races of the season along, with good performances from all Ferrari powered cars.

However, this weekend will be the first weekend where we will start to see some of the upgrades the teams will be bringing to their cars.

I don’t think that these upgrades will make a massive difference just yet and we will only start to see improvements coming from Imola onwards.

With that in mind is it worth trying to snap up some of these drivers that have dropped in value that will likely increase in value over the coming race weekends.

Currently, prices have not dropped massively, but here are some drivers worth keeping an eye on:

Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri

After a DNF in Bahrain and question marks about the reliably of the Alpha Tauri, Gasly’s price in the market has started to drop slightly despite him managing to finish 8th at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

With the Alpha Tauri sharing the same powerful engine we are seeing displayed in the Red Bull car, I personally think he could perform well this weekend and could well be worth looking to add to your team while his stock is down.

George Russell, Mercedes

Mercedes will be coming to the Australia GP with a new rear wing and are hopeful of having their new floor in place for the following race at Imola.

With the straight-line speed that is possible from that Mercedes engine once they get all the aero sorted, getting them in while their value is down could be a good deal and a smart move.

George is much better priced in the F1 Fantasy list to have in your team than Lewis and he seems to have a better feel for the car overall based on their performances in the opening two races.

With that being said, I’m not expecting much of an improvement from Mercedes until at least Imola so this could be one to better left till next race week.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull

Yes, pervious race winner Max Verstappen is currently down on his opening value.

This is in part to do with his DNF in Bahrain, but I can see us heading for another showdown between Red Bull and Ferrari this weekend and Max will be the one leading the charge for Red Bull once again.

The strong points from this weekend will again arrive from Ferrari and Red Bull, so balancing your team to have these are your main focus this weekend will help you earn the most points possible.

It is worth keeping an eye out for the player streaks that I explained before the season open; if you can manage to get in drivers who will be competing their qualifying and Race streaks in the coming races, this will offer your team bonus points and will also be the best time for you to play those Mega driver cards.

Hats off to David R who leads the way in our FansBet blog F1 Fantasy League so far with a whooping 561 points from the opening races.

David R has however already used his Mega driver on Max Verstappen for the Saudi Arabia GP which alone gave him 135 points.

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If you are looking for some betting tips for the Australia GP, here are a few selections that I think can offer some good value:

Qualifying Winning Margin – Between 0.1 & 0.25 Seconds – 3.35

Again a favourite market of mine this season, there really isn’t much to split the Red Bulls and the Ferrari cars this season in the opening rounds. We saw a gap of 0.025 in Jeddah and a gap of 0.123 in Bahrain.

I feel pole will be close again but just not as close as last week and I see pole being taken by between 0.1 & 0.25 Seconds.

Top 6 Finish – Pierre Gasly – 4.00

I can see Pierre and Alpha Tauri putting recently issues behind them for the Australia GP and managing a solid qualifying result that will see him manage a top six finish this race weekend.

He managed to get P8 last week while his team mate was not even able to start the race, with the week break between the last two races, I strongly think we will see Gasly put in a very strong performance down under.

1st Driver Retirement – Lance Stroll – 15.00

The first driver to retire market is a market I always am tempted by, as if you can hit this spot on, there is some really good value to be seen.

This week, Stroll at odds of 15.00 had me very interested. For those that have heard Stroll’s radio messages from Jeddah will know he is not one bit happy with how the Aston Martin is feeling out on track currently, added to that with the return of Vettel to the wheel, I can see this adding a little more pressure to Lance.

Wherever Stroll starts the race on Sunday, he will know he needs to make early moves in order to have any chance of having a good result and this could lead to him taking a little too many risks in my eyes.

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