F1 Fantasy has taken the grid at DraftKings and Sunday’s Grand Prix in Bahrain begins a new era of Daily Fantasy Racing. Formula 1 fans and Fantasy NASCAR fans will come together and celebrate the kickoff of the 2022 F1 season through fantasy sports.
The DraftKings Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2022 slate locks at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Lewis Hamilton ($17,400) — For the uninitiated, Hamilton is the best race car driver in the world. He has 103 career wins and at least eight wins in each of the last eight seasons. For those looking to fade his high salary, Mercedes struggled in testing at Bahrain despite unveiling their innovative “zero pod” design.
2. Max Verstappen ($18,000) — His 2021 F1 Championship is controversial, but that does not matter for fantasy F1. Verstappen won 10 races and earned 18 podiums in the 22 races in 2021.
3. Sergio Perez ($13,200) — Some F1 fantasy players may be concerned that Red Bull devoted too many of their resources to the 2021 season, but this does not appear to be the case with Verstappen and Perez topping the timing charts at Bahrain on Day 3. “Checo” Perez could have earned a podium at Bahrain in 2021, but poor strategy during Q2 buried Perez in traffic to begin the race.
4. Carlos Sainz ($15,300) — Ferrari finished sixth in the 2020 constructors’ championship. F1 attempts to create a level playing field by allowing more wind tunnel time to teams lower in the standings. One of the biggest narratives heading into the 2022 season is that Ferrari will be the team to beat, at least early in the season.
5. Lando Norris ($12,300) — McLaren’s rising star did not win in 2021, but it’s hard to win an F1 race and it’s hard to beat both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Lando’s average finish of 7.0 ranked fourth last season.
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6. Charles Leclerc ($16,200) — His 11.4 DKFP per race in 2021 puts him in the top 5. The Ferrari driver is not going to unseat Hamilton or Verstappen, but he could leap frog Lando Norris and should gain another spot with Valtteri Bottas leaving Mercedes.
7. Daniel Ricciardo ($10,800) — In his first season with McLaren, Ricciardio lacked the consistency and speed of his teammate. Although Lando Norris earned more podiums, top-5 finishes and top-10 finishes, Ricciardo won and led 48 laps at Monza last season. NOTE: Ricciardo missed the Bahrain test due to testing positive for COVID-19.
8. George Russell ($14,400) — Mercedes promoted the former Williams driver following the 2021 season. This is still Lewis Hamilton’s team, but Russell will be a contender for a podium every week in this equipment.
9. Fernando Alonso ($9,900) — Alpine’s new Renault power unit could inch this team closer to the top tier, but that remains to be seen. However, the new aero design rules — that reduce the effect of dirty air from 35% to 4% — should create more passing opportunities and play to the strengths of the two-time Formula 1 Champion.
10. Valtteri Bottas ($6,900) — He’s got the talent, but does he have the car? Alfa Romeo is a clear step down from Mercedes. However, Guanyu Zhou ($) has brought ample funding to this team and with the new rules aimed at leveling the playing field, Bottas could continue to produce. On day 3 of the Bahrain testing, Bottas laid down the fifth-fastest lap. That lap was on the C3 tire, while the four fastest times were recorded on softer tires.
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