Formula 1 is back for the 2023 season, and Red Bull is starting right where they left off. The two Red Bull drivers locked out the front row after dominating Saturday’s qualifying session. Max Verstappen earned the pole position, and his teammate, Sergio Perez, will start next to him in second. They anchor our F1 DFS picks for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
After an interesting spring test session in February, the F1 cars finally ran meaningful laps on Saturday. Ferrari doesn’t look to have the same one-lap speed they had last season. However, Ferrari locked out the second row, and their drivers will start in third and fourth.
Aston Martin has been the talk of the paddock so far. They showed promising results in the spring testing and were talked up as an early season podium contender. The early results have made them a team to watch after the combination of Lance Stroll and newcomer, Fernando Alonso, pushed the Mercedes cars in qualifying. Alonso managed to produce an excellent final lap in Q3, giving the Spaniard a fifth-place starting position — ahead of both Mercedes cars.
Formula 1 DFS Picks: DraftKings F1 Picks
Constructor: Red Bull ($12,000 DraftKings)
The prices have come down on the Red Bull constructor since the end of last season, and fantasy players should take advantage in the first week of the season. Red Bull looks to be miles ahead of the competition once again and is a focus for cash game builds. With their price coming down, it is entirely possible to stack Red Bull and Verstappen in GPPs.
Constructor: Ferrari ($11,100 DraftKings)
Red Bull should be chalk at constructor this week, but Ferrari always offers an intriguing swap. They own race-winning upside and benefited from Red Bull’s early struggles in 2022. However, Ferrari is only a GPP option because of their lofty price tag and lower expected value compared to Red Bull.
Constructor: Aston Martin ($7,500 DraftKings)
This is where things get interesting. Aston Martin showed promise at spring testing and demonstrated speed early with a fifth and seventh in qualifying on Saturday. If you’re playing massive F1 DFS contests, using Aston Martin will be a big difference-maker if something funky happens.
Driver: Max Verstappen ($13,000 DraftKings; P1)
Verstappen saw his price decrease by $800 since the last race of 2022. That will make him a starting point for many fantasy players this weekend. For cash games, it’s easy to stack Red Bull and Verstappen. In GPPs he’ll be the chalk of the town. Verstappen went off in 2022 for one of the most dominant F1 seasons we have ever seen. Look for him to continue his winning ways here in Bahrain. His teammate, Sergio Perez, is a must-play if players want to fade Verstappen.
Driver: Fernando Alonso ($7,600 DraftKings; P5)
Alonso seems to have made the right decision after abruptly leaving Alpine in 2022 to chase the money offered by Aston Martin. The car showed a high ceiling as the team looks to contend in 2023. Alonso will have the green light to push as the team looks to make a big splash after lackluster results in 2022.
Driver: Nico Hulkenberg ($3,200 DraftKings; P10)
Surprise, surprise. HAAS is coming to play this year after the team used 2021 and 2022 to essentially build their 2023 car. Nico Hulkenberg is back to being a full-time driver after being left without a season in 2022. After his decent results for Aston Martin as a reserve driver in 2022, HAAS decided to move on from Mick Schumacher and go with a proven veteran of the sport. He is the best value play on the slate and can be used in both cash and GPPs. He also starts seven positions ahead of his teammate.
Driver: Alex Albon ($3,800 DraftKings; P15)
Death, taxes, and Alex Albon as a top value play in F1 DFS. This year it may not be as easy to guarantee the five bonus points for beating his teammate, but he is still showing a great upside in qualifying, even with Williams still at the bottom of the barrel. Albon ranks as one of the better value plays in Stokastic’s model.
Driver: Yuki Tsunoda ($3,600 DraftKings; P14)
Yuki Tsunoda is looking to make the jump to top driver for AlphaTauri after Pierre Gasly left for Alpine in 2022. Tsunoda out-qualified his new teammate Nyck De Vries by five positions and is $800 cheaper than the rookie. Tsunoda’s experience should help him produce better finishes than De Vries in the early going while the rookie gets used to F1.
Final F1 DFS Picks & Summary
Cash game lineups will be littered with a Red Bull stack up top because of their current projections. Using the previously mentioned drivers in a lineup will likely make for the best cash-game build. Paying up for Alonso comes with some risk, but he has a higher ceiling with Aston Martin.
For GPPs, fantasy players will have to first decide on which Red Bull driver to use. Stacking Red Bull and Verstappen stack doesn’t allow for much wiggle room up top, as it is impossible for F1 DFS players to pair them with anyone on Ferrari or Mercedes. Because of this, Alonso may come in higher-owned than his current projection. Going down to Esteban Ocon is a viable route for those wanting to move off Alonso and be a little different with their final three drivers.