Formula 1 is set to put their first taste of American action aside after a successful Miami Grand Prix two weekends ago. The Spanish Grand Prix has been a staple on the F1 circuit and is one of the oldest race tracks still being regularly used. The Spanish Grand Prix has hosted an F1 event 61 times, with Lewis Hamilton taking home the checkered flag in the 2021 season.
This track is extremely familiar to all the teams and drivers because this is also the location where winter testing for F1 teams takes place. While we have already seen some teams make additions and improvements on their cars recently, the Spanish Grand Prix is a place where annually almost every team has revealed major upgrades to their cars.
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DraftKings F1 Fantasy & DFS Racing Preview
Spanish Grand Prix
- Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
- Location: Barcelona, Spain
- Length: 2.905 miles
- Race Distance: 66 laps
- Laps lead: 6.6 points
- Fastest lap: 3 points
- Past Winner: Lewis Hamilton
- Betting Favorite: Max Verstappen (+100)
On Track Schedule (All Times Eastern)
- Friday, May 20
- 8 a.m.: Free Practice 1
- 5 a.m.: Free Practice 2
- Saturday, May 21
- 7 a.m.: Free Practice 3
- 10 a.m.: Qualifying
- Sunday, May 22
- 9 a.m.: Lights Out
F1 Fantasy Preview for Spanish Grand Prix
DraftKings has made it clear with their pricing that you won’t be able to just stack the top two drivers (Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc) and fill in the rest of your lineup with value plays. Verstappen comes in as the highest priced play at $11,600, while Leclerc slides in just below at $11,200. One thing to note is that it is actually possible to fit Verstappen at captain, Red Bull, and Leclerc in your FLEX if you finish the build with the three cheapest plays on the slate. This is actually a possible build this week since the bottom three drivers are all from different teams; Sebastian Vettel ($3,400), Guanyu Zhou ($3,200), and Nicholas Latifi ($3,000). It is definitely not an ideal build, and if we see Verstappen and Leclerc start on the front row, I imagine many people will be running this lineup. If you were to roll a Leclerc at captain, Ferrari, and Verstappen lineup, you would be left with $600 if you chose the same value plays, so in sense you could upgrade from Vettel to Stroll or even stack both Williams and fade an Aston Martin if that’s more of your route.
George Russell saw his price jump back up to $8,800 after another fantastic race and making it four defeats of his team mate Lewis Hamilton. Russell is just $400 less than Hamilton this week and it is the closest they have been priced all season.
Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon continue to flip flop in pricing as Ocon is the higher priced play this week after a mega effort to finish 8th at the Miami Grand Prix after starting in dead last. He did technically get a two spot head-start since both Aston Martin’s were forced to start from pit lane due to a fuel issue, but nonetheless, Ocon continued his dominance over his team mate, beating him in every race this season.
DraftKings F1 DFS Picks
It is extremely difficult to discuss any of the secondary drivers on Red Bull or Ferrari because of their top driver dominance this season. Fading Verstappen to play Sergio Perez has only worked out once in five races, while playing Carlos Sainz has been the equivalent to lighting your money on fire. DFS players who have been fading Red Bull and Ferrari as their constructors and captain plays have been paying the rake this season and watching everyone else reap the rewards. While they always seem to come in as the highest owned plays, they are the best plays for good reason.
I expect the dominance from Red Bull and Ferrari to continue to Barcelona this weekend. While it was nice for Mercedes fans to get a 5th – 6th place finish in Miami, their cars are simply not on par with the top two teams. At no point were the Mercedes ever in striking distance and they were over a second off from their best lap compared to the Red Bull’s and Ferrari’s. Unless Mercedes have figured out their porpoising and speed issues, they will remain in the fight for the third best car on the track this weekend.
It will be interesting to see how the McLaren cars perform this weekend in the Free Practice sessions as their car seems to perform better on tighter tracks this season. Lando Norris has been the much better play from McLaren this season and could be a decent pivot off the Mercedes pair if this team is able to put in a strong effort leading up to Sunday’s race.
The biggest price dropper after the Miami Grand Prix was Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou. He started in 17th place but was forced to retire after completing just four laps with car troubles. Zhou is now the second cheapest play on the slate but does not truly offer much upside considering his team mate Valtteri Bottas has been a man on a mission this year after being cut from Mercedes last season.
The day has come; Alex Albon is no longer free. Albon had been an auto-play for the first five weeks of the season because of his price and upside, but it looks like DraftKings is starting to take note of his talent. While it isn’t a crazy jump, Albon is now $4,000, but still will look like one of the best value plays on this slate come Sunday.
This will be a week where teams reveal major upgrades to their cars. Monitoring Free Practice sessions will give DFS players a leg up on the competition to see which cars have actually improved and which have fallen behind. As always, the DraftKings F1 lineup picks segment will be out after qualifying, as will Awesemo’s F1 DFS projections, which will be updated throughout the week.
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