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F1 Fantasy Racing Rankings: DFS Picks on DraftKings for Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2023

Pearce Dietrich gives his picks and ranks his top drivers for Sunday’s Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2023, which locks at 10 a.m. ET on DraftKings.

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Previews Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Formula 1 is back and DraftKings is kicking off the 2023 season with a large fantasy racing contest that pays $50K to first place. Before you settle into your Sunday morning DFS F1 routine, let’s go over the top picks for Round 1 in Bahrain.

The DraftKings Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2023 slate locks at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Set your DraftKings Fantasy F1 lineups here: F1 $200K Lights Out Special [$50K to 1st]

1. Max Verstappen ($13,000) — The 2022 Formula 1 season was special, not just because DraftKings launched Fantasy F1, but because Verstappen set the F1 single-season wins record with 15. He crushed in DFS all season and will crush again. Verstappen was extremally confident after testing last week at Bahrain.

2. Charles Leclerc ($11,200) — Going into Round 1 of 2022, the hype was real. Ferrari was back. Leclerc ran a perfect race, and more importantly, he outmaneuvered Max Verstappen to get that season-opening win. Leclerc can go toe-to-toe with Max in terms of racecraft, but it does not appear the red Ferrari horse can defeat the Red Bull.

3. Sergio Perez ($9,400) — It’s another season of playing second fiddle, but in 2023 second fiddle could mean the second-best driver in the world. That’s not bad. Red Bull was expected to be the fastest in testing and their upgraded RB19 was even better than expected.

4. Carlos Sainz ($9,000) — The Spaniard earned the first win of his F1 career last season in England. There were also plenty of lows, as DFS F1 players are well aware. The second half of Sainz’s season was less than exceptional but also less volatile. He was consistent but lacked upside as Ferrari detuned their engines down the stretch.

5. George Russell ($8,200) — A mechanical failure limited Mercedes during testing but they recovered. However, losing those valuable laps places Russell in an unenviable position. He’ll be faster than the mid-pack, but it’s hard to believe he will contend with the Ferraris and Red Bulls.

For F1 insight and quick DFS help, follow Pearce Dietrich (@race4theprize) on Twitter.

6. Lewis Hamilton ($10,400) — There were serious doubts surrounding Hamilton heading into the 2022 season, and those fears were confirmed as the team struggled for half the season. Eventually, Hamilton and Merc adjusted to the new racing package, and 2023 should be better. However, issues during testing might delay their ability to compete in the first round.

7. Fernando Alonso ($7,600) — Everyone loves Alonso. For Alpine, he was better than a mid-pack driver, that is when his car wasn’t failing. There are high expectations for Alonso in his first season (20th season in F1) with Aston Martin. After last week’s successful test at Bahrain, there are high expectations for Aston Martin.

8. Esteban Ocon ($5,800) — In terms of average finish, Ocon ranked eighth with an 8.8 driving for Alpine in 2022. He was eighth in DKFP, as well. With McLaren projected to struggle, Ocon should be at least one spot better with Lando Norris dropping down.

9. Kevin Magnussen ($4,200) — The Bahrain test was uneventful, but that’s a good thing for Haas. K-Mag may lack upside and may not finish in the points, but the key to a good value pick in F1 is picking drivers that beat their teammates. Nico Hulkenberg ($3,200) has not been a full-time F1 driver since 2019 and is new to Haas. Magnussen has a clear edge on his teammate.

10. Lando Norris ($7,000) — It was a bumpy 2022 season, but in the end, Norris was the best driver in the mid-pack (average finish of 8.3). Only the Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari drivers ranked better than him. Unfortunately, testing did not go well, and even the team admits that they did not reach their goals in the offseason when redesigning their car.

Set your DraftKings Fantasy F1 lineups here: F1 $200K Lights Out Special [$50K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.