Formula 1 is headed down to the French Riviera this weekend for the most luxurious event on the race calendar. The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most famous tracks that was part of Formula A, which later turned into Formula 1 in 1950. There was a race held in Monaco in 1950, and there has been a race held at the street course every year since 1955 — the only exception being 2020 when COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the event.
In 2021, Max Verstappen took home the checkered flag despite being the second-fastest qualifier on Saturday. Luckily, for Verstappen, he didn’t even need to pass anyone, as Charles Leclerc wasn’t able to start the race after crashing at the end of qualifying and the car malfunctioning on the way to the track on Sunday before the race. While there may be loads of glitz and glam around the circuit, from stunning views to $100 million yachts, the main argument against this course is the lackluster circuit for racing. Because it is a full street circuit, there are not many runoffs, so there are many concrete blocks to end driver’s days. The course is famously known as one of, if not, the toughest track to pass on, which can lead to some boring stretches. Not only are F1 cars now bigger than ever, their race tires are now 18 inches after being just 13 inches in previous seasons. Cars widening by at least 10 inches may not seem that crucial, but at such a tight track, it will be interesting to see how many passes we even see come Sunday.
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DraftKings F1 Fantasy & DFS Racing Preview
Monaco Grand Prix
- Track: Circuit de Monaco
- Location: Monte Carlo, Monaco
- Length: 2.074 miles
- Race Distance: 78 laps
- Laps lead: 7.8 points
- Fastest lap: 3 points
- Past Winner: Max Verstappen
- Betting Favorite: Charles Leclerc (-110)
On Track Schedule (All Times Eastern)
- Friday, May 27
- 8 a.m.: Free Practice 1
- 11 a.m.: Free Practice 2
- Saturday, May 28
- 7 a.m.: Free Practice 3
- 10 a.m.: Qualifying
- Sunday, May 29
- 9 a.m.: Lights Out
F1 Fantasy Preview for Monaco Grand Prix
Death, taxes, and DraftKings not allowing us to build lineups like we used to in the early days of F1 DFS. The highest-priced drivers this week are Leclerc ($11,600), Verstappen ($11,200) and George Russell ($10,000), who has usurped teammate Lewis Hamilton and is now $1,000 more after being cheaper in every race so far this season. It seems like just a couple days ago that you could build lineups using Verstappen at captain, with Leclerc in the flex with Red Bull at the constructor and still being able to fit another mid-range play. That is all gone, as there are realistically just two lineup builds that even allow you to play this trio. The first is filling the rest of your team with Alex Albon ($4,000), Lance Stroll ($3,400) and ending it with Guanyu Zhou ($3,200). It’s a possible lineup, but one I expect to be duplicated plenty in GPPs, while also sacrificing some GPP-winning upside using Zhou and Stroll, to an extent. The other option is swapping Albon and Zhou for Nicholas Latifi ($3,000) and Yuki Tsunoda ($4,200). Again, this lineup doesn’t scream GPP-winning upside, but there’s no doubt it could happen.
There is now a sizable gap in constructor pricing, too, as Ferrari tops the chart at $11,500, followed by Red Bull at $11,000 and Mercedes creeping up just behind at $9,500. For what it’s worth, Mercedes has been extremely consistent at having both drivers finish races this season without many car issues, aside from their overall performance. On the other hand, we have now seen car issues and driver mistakes ruin Ferrari and Red Bull races multiple times this season.
The swinging pendulum pricing of Fernando Alonso ($6,800) and Esteban Ocon ($6,400) strikes again this week as Alonso is now the more expensive driver even after having a worse finish in Barcelona. Don’t look now, but Netflix series favorite, Daniel Ricciardo ($5,800), might be priced below the HAAS drivers next time out. His price continues to drop after hitting a season high of $7,600 a month ago in Italy.
DraftKings Monaco F1 DFS Picks
There are two things we know for sure up to this point: Ferrari has been able to get the most out of the car for a one-lap pace, while the Red Bull car has been much more dominant on race day in terms of pace and power. With that said, it seems likely we see Leclerc on pole for the race. Since I previously mentioned how hard it was to pass at this circuit, we could easily see Leclerc have a wire-to-wire lead here with Verstappen complaining on his radio for 78 laps.
Up until now, the Mercedes car truly had not shown the power or speed to win an F1 race and many began to question if they would even win a race in the 2022 season. While their car is still a ways off from truly competing for the checkered flag, the fact that Russell was leading the Grand Prix in Barcelona last weekend goes to show that they have taken positive strides to unlock this car. With the Mercedes’ driver prices coming up, both drivers are now a tough play as they truly don’t quite have the car ready to contend with.
If you are looking to get more bang from your buck, Valtteri Bottas ($8,200) is truly where the podium upside ends. While I am fairly certain there’s a minimal chance we see Bottas even sniff a podium if all of the cars finish the race, luckily this is a sport that wreaks havoc every single week. He has been incredibly impressive after making his transition to Alfa Romeo, where he is now the No. 1 driver and having the car properly fitted for him each and every race. While I understand that Lando Norris ($7,400) did have a podium finish in Italy, I think it has been passed by both Mercedes and Bottas at this point. The McLaren has fared better on slower, tighter tracks, so this may play right into their hands this weekend. I will be keeping an eye on the Free Practice results for exactly this reason.
Now for the bargain-bin pieces to finish off those lineups. We were finally let down by our old faithful Alex Albon ($4,000), who scored just one point for finishing the race in 18th. It was the first time that Latifi was able to beat Albon in a race, and I am just going to chalk it up to bad luck. There is a reason why Albon was at -700 odds to beat Latifi in the race last weekend. The HAAS drivers of Kevin Magnussen ($5,600) and Mick Schumacher ($5,200) are priced extremely close together after the two have struggled in back-to-back races. Even with both drivers starting in the top 10 in Barcelona, Magnussen ended up falling all the way back to 17th place after getting in to an early collision with Hamilton, while Schumacher didn’t fare much better, finishing in 14th place. The team didn’t bring any upgrades to Spain, and while their times weren’t awful, it may be a little rough patch for the team until they fully bring new packages to their car in France.
The biggest decision this week seems like it could be choosing between Stroll and Vettel. They are the only team with both drivers in the sub-$4K pricing, as I am expecting almost every DFS lineup to have one of the Aston Martin’s for savings.
Will Leclerc finally break his curse at his home race? Or will he be walking away in disappointment? I will be monitoring Free Practice sessions and times all weekend as they are crucial to seeing what sort of potential a team is showing up with. 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.Thanks for reading to the end of this article! If you appreciate this free content and want to see more of it every day, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media! Looking for more F1 Fantasy content? We have loads of articles, projections and DraftKings F1 DFS picks and more on the Awesemo F1 DFS home page.