After a one-week pause, Formula 1 will return to the track this weekend. Red Bull Racing locked out the front row in Bahrain and scored a one-two finish to take home the first Grand Prix of the season. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc wasn’t able to finish the race, while Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso came home an impressive third. Red Bull remains a sharp pick for F1 DFS — and so does Alonso.
Qualifying was full of surprises and collisions. Lando Norris hit the wall after cutting a corner too sharply in Q1, which has him starting back in 19th. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen also ran into issues with his car and now must start back in 15th.
Leclerc qualified in second but must take a 10-spot grid penalty after an equipment issue. With Leclerc, Verstappen and Norris all starting in the bottom half of the grid, Sunday’s event should have plenty of intrigue. Building F1 DFS lineups will also be more difficult this week with the plethora of choices to choose from.
Formula 1 DFS Picks: DraftKings F1 Picks
Constructor: Aston Martin ($9,200 DraftKings)
Aston Martin should compete for the highest-owned constructor this weekend after the team put in a fantastic qualifying session. Because of car issues, Verstappen will start in 15th, while Leclerc’s grid penalty will bump him back to 12th. The two Aston Martin cars will start in second and fifth, and both have the potential to place on the podium on Sunday.
Aston Martin is the third most expensive constructor for Sunday, but the team still makes for one of the stronger cash game building blocks. Alonso has the potential to take the checkered flag in this car, while Lance Stroll could contend for a podium as the Mercedes cars have been less-than-reliable so far this season.
Constructor: Mercedes ($8,500 DraftKings)
Mercedes is in an interesting spot this weekend. George Russell and Lewis Hamilton combine for the second-best average starting position on the grid. With Russell in third and Hamilton in seventh, the Mercedes team will look to take a step forward after missing the podium in Bahrain. They are the second preferred constructor in cash games but are very much in play for GPP lineups.
Constructor: Red Bull ($13,100 DraftKings)
Red Bull will be the ultimate GPP play this weekend after Verstappen’s car malfunctions during qualifying. Sergio Perez still took the pole position as his teammate had to settle for a 15th-place starting position. As we have seen in previous races, Verstappen is definitely able to claw his way to the front from the back of the pack. If he can do so again, Red Bull could be the play in large-field tournaments. Stacking Perez and Red Bull would leave you with around $5,000 average salary left for the remaining four drivers.
Driver: Sergio Perez ($11,200 DraftKings; P1)
Despite all of his teammate’s mechanical issues, Sergio Perez took home the pole for Red Bull. Perez is much cheaper than Verstappen but is still the second highest priced driver on the slate. Perez was going to be a GPP-only play if Verstappen would have been able to qualify properly but is now in play for both cash and GPPs with Verstappen back in 15th. Verstappen now becomes the GPP flier with his increased price tag and unfavorable starting position.
Driver: George Russell ($7,600 DraftKings; P3)
Prices have really jumped since the results in Bahrain. George Russell’s price came down $600 after his seventh-place finish, but he put together a strong performance at the Jeddah circuit during qualifying. Russell qualified four spots ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton and has a strong shot at a podium here in Jeddah. He is the seventh-priced driver on the slate but makes for a strong cash play and has some upside in GPPs.
Driver: Fernando Alonso ($9,600 DraftKings; P2)
The “Green Red Bull” looks extremely competitive this year, and Fernando Alonso has made the most out of it in the early going. He qualified in third, but because of Leclerc’s grid penalty, will start on the front row alongside Perez. Alonso could flash off the line and take the lead. He has a strong chance at his second podium in as many races.
Driver: Nico Hulkenberg ($4,000 DraftKings; P10)
The HAAS cars look like mid-pack cars through two qualifying sessions this year. Nico Hulkenberg out-qualified his teammate, Kevin Magnussen, for the second time in as many races and will start three spots ahead of him on the grid on Sunday. Hulkenberg will have a tough test ahead of him Sunday as he will start just in front of Leclerc and Verstappen but should fight for a top-10 finish by the end of the day.
Driver: Oscar Piastri ($4,800 DraftKings; P8)
McLaren’s Oscar Piastri is in a great spot this weekend as he managed to qualify in eighth place for the race on Sunday. His teammate, Lando Norris, will start all the way back in 19th after his crash in Q1. Pisatri had a rough first race in F1 after lasting just 13 laps in Bahrain but is a strong mid-range play this week in a wide-open midfield.
Driver: Zhou Guanyu ($4,400 DraftKings; P11)
Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu has kept it competitive with teammate Valtteri Bottas in the early going this season. Bottas managed to climb inside the top 10 in Bahrain, while Zhou lost grid places and finished in 16th. This week, Zhou will start three spots in front of his teammate and has performed better during the Free Practice sessions so far. Zhou is a potential play for DFS players seeking a more balanced build.
Driver: Yuki Tsunoda ($3,400 DraftKings; P16) or Nyck De Vries ($3,000 DraftKings; P18)
Either Yuki Tsunoda or AlphaTauri teammate Nyck De Vries makes for a solid last-man-in for F1 DFS players. Tsunoda is starting in 16th while De Vries is back in 18th. Depending on how much salary players have left, either driver should slot in as a last piece in both cash and GPP lineups. Tsunoda has more experience here but wasn’t even able to race last year after his car failed to make it to the grid on time. As a result, Tsunoda is the preferred pick of the two for cash games and GPPs if the salary allows, especially because of his performance in the Free Practice sessions. Both Tsunoda and De Vries rank as some of the better value plays in Stokastic’s model.
Final F1 DFS Picks & Summary
Cash game lineups will be littered with a variety of options this week with a different starting grid than usual. Aston Martin and Mercedes are the preferred starting spots because of their prices compared to Red Bull and Ferrari. Starting with either constructor and Perez at captain allows for plenty of options to build from, even if DFS players choose to go for a balanced build with Russell and Alonso.
For GPPs, fantasy players will have to first decide on which constructor-captain stack to go for. Will it pay off to go with Perez and Red Bull, or is going with a Fernando Alonso-Aston Martin stack with Verstappen in the driver spot the way to go? With two of the top drivers starting in the bottom half of the grid, stacking both Verstappen and Leclerc in GPPs will make a very contrarian build.