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Formula Fantasy League – Italy Weekend preview

In this article, we will dive into Fanteam’s Formula Fantasy League, and focus on the upcoming race weekend with Italy Weekend preview. There is also a review of the previous Fanteam’s Formula Fantasy League in Portugal.

Previous Formula Fantasy Review – Portugal (Portimao)

The weekend in Portugal was historic. Lewis Hamilton won the Portuguese race at Portimao. He got his 92nd formula victory and he became the driver with the most wins.  As we predicted in the preview article Formula Fantasy League – Portugal Weekend preview  Mercedes was the team to beat. Once again Mercedes got first and second place leaving Max Verstappen third. 

Let’s see how it was played over the weekend.

Portugal review: Free Practice

In all three free practices, Valtteri Bottas had the quickest time.  

In the first session, Mercedes was the quickest with 1st and 2nd place. Red Bull with Max Verstappen was 3rd and Alexander Albon 5th. Charles Leclerc with Ferrari finished 4th. 

The second session was pretty intense. Two red flags disrupted the 2nd free practice. The first was after Pierre Gasly’s Alpha Tauri caught fire and the second one was after the collision between Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll. Valtteri Bottas finished 1st and Max Verstappen 2nd. McLaren was really good with Lando Norris finishing 3rd and Carlos Sainz 5th. Charles Leclerc finished 4th once again. 

In the third free practice, Mercedes finished 1st and 2nd with Bottas and Hamilton. Max Verstappen finished 3rd closing the gap from Mercedes. Pierre Gasly recovered after the incident he had in second free practice and finished 4th. Alexander Albon with the 2nd Red Bull finished 5th and Charles Leclerc 6th.  

Portugal review: Qualifying

The qualifying session was pretty intense as always. 

In Q1 everything went as we expected. Haas, Alfa Romeo, and Williams fight to qualify for Q2. The big winner of this battle was George Russell with the Williams, who qualified as 15th. His teammate finished last in 20th place. Alfa Romeo finished in 16th and 17th place while Haas finished 18th and 19th. 

In Q2 the biggest surprise was Sebastian Vettel. He finished last in 15th place while his teammate Charles Leclerc was in the top 6. George Russell managed to get something other than last place and he finished 14th. Daniil Kvyal finished 13th, Lance Stroll 12th, and Esteban Ocon 11th. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, and Charles Leclerc managed to qualify with a medium set of tires while Red Bull followed the strategy of soft tires.

In Q3, Lewis Hamilton delivered his best lap of the weekend and he won the pole position. Mercedes did the best laps with medium tires instead of softs.   

Portugal review: Race

With some spots of rain falling at the begging of the race, the road was slippery and the starting grid had some serious changes. Lewis Hamilton started from the pole but he fell third. Carlos Sainz got the early lead with his teammate Lando Norris in 4th. Max Verstappen dropped to 5th and Raikkonen in 6th with his unbelievable start from 16th place. 

After a few rounds, Mercedes managed to bring the temperature they wanted in their tires and improved their pace. When the pace of the cars settled Bottas was in the lead with Hamilton in 2nd place and Verstappen 3rd. Leclerc was in 4th and McLaren was following with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris. 

Lewis Hamilton set a faster pace than Bottas and at the start of lap 20, he passed his teammate using the DRS. After that, he made an unbelievable race for the record-breaking victory. 

The fight between McLaren and Racing Point escalated as Norris and Stroll crashed at turn 1, sending Lance Stroll spinning. Lance Stroll got a 5-second penalty and both cars sustained wing damage. The driver of the Racing Point couldn’t recover and retired on lap 51.

The Portuguese race ended with Lewis Hamilton 1st, Valtteri Bottas 2nd, and Max Verstappen 3rd. Charles Leclerc finished 4th winning the battle for the best of the rest. Pierre Gasly had a great race for AlphaTauri and got the 5th place while Carlos Sainz passed Sergio Perez on the final lap for the spot in the top 6. Renault managed to contain the damage and finish 8th and 9th place with Ocon and Ricciardo. Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari claimed the final spot of the top 10. The surprise of the race was Kimi Raikkonen. After his great start, the pace of his car wasn’t good enough for a top 10 finish. He finished 11th leaving behind some drivers with better cars as Alexander Albon and Lando Norris. 

Fantasy points in Portugal (Portimao)

Formula Fantasy League – Italy Weekend preview

How Fantasy managers did in Portugal (Portimao)

Once again the top 3 drivers Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, and Max Verstappen were the most popular picks. With Bottas and Verstappen picked by 77% of managers and Hamilton owned by 76% with 43% as captain. Charles Leclerc was the next in popularity but also the right pick with 65% of managers choosing him. Alexander Albon was owned by 53%, Carlos Sainz was next with 48%, and Pierre Gasly with 34%. As we see, some of the most popular picks won because in qualifying and race there was no incident to cause the ups and downs. 

The big disappointment of the weekend was Alexander Albon once again. The driver can’t deliver the results that the car he drives deserves. Renault seemed to struggle more than their midfield contenders. Daniel Ricciardo after some really great races this weekend wasn’t really good. 

Formula Fantasy League – Italy Weekend preview full weekend draft

Italy Weekend preview – the circuit

This weekend the king of motorsports returns to Imola for the first time since 2006. The circuit in Imola has lots of fast turns a lot of straits.  A difference format will be opposed to a two-day racing instead of a three-day one. There will be no free practices on Friday. All the teams will have only 90 minutes to practice on Saturday morning before the qualifyings. The track is unknown for most of the drivers and a two-day event will be challenging for everyone. 

Italy Weekend preview – driver prices

This weekend will be the first one played in our New Pursuit mode. The game is exactly the same, but the price system is simplified to make it easier. Instead of picking players by price, you can pick them by bonus points. Bonus points are awarded at the start of the tournament. This way, you can easily see how much bonus you will be getting for each pick!

This weekend, Lewis Hamilton is once again the most expensive driver, priced at -27pts. His teammate Valtteri Bottas is following with -19.4pts and Max Verstappen with 18.4pts. Then we have the duo of Sergio Perez with -9.4pts and Daniel Ricciardo with -8.2pts. Lance Stroll is a little bit behind them with -5pts. 

Next, there is a group of four drivers priced between -1.2pts and -3pts. Charles Leclerc is the most expensive of them with -3pts. Carlos Sainz is following with -2pts, Alexander Albon at -1.4pts, and Lando Norris at -1.2pts. The next group of drivers is priced around +2.2pts and +1.4pts with Esteban Ocon at -1.4pts, Pierre Gasly at +1.8pts, and Sebastian Vettel at +2.2pts. The second AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat is at +6.2pts. 

Finally, we have the cheapest drivers of Alfa Romeo, Haas, and Williams priced from +11pts to +15pts.

What to expect

A new circuit on the calendar is always challenging and especially this two-day format. Without much practice in the track, we expect some ups and downs. Similar to Nurburgring where Friday’s free practices did not take place. Mercedes will be once again the team to beat while the teams with Ferrari engine we expect to struggle more. The Portuguese race suited Ferrari’s car but this circuit is different. Ferrari might struggle once again or show that they are truly improved. 

We expect Renault to be better than the previous race and fight with Racing Point. Reb Bull will try once again to beat Mercedes and the tires strategy they will follow it will be crucial. 

A safety car always brings ups and downs and we expect it to be shown. 

Team preview – Mercedes

Mercedes will fight once again to finish in the top 2 places. They have the best car and if Hamilton (-27pts) and Bottas (-19.4pts) have a clean race they should get the 1-2. Bottas wants to win his teammate after the big time difference they had in the previous race.

Team preview – Red Bull

Alexander Albon (-1.4pts) is struggling to put some good results. His seat in Red Bull and in the league is on the line. Sometimes he struggles to achieve a top 10 while his teammate achieves a podium consistently. The next races are really important to him. Max Verstappen (-18.4pts) will fight to get something better than 3rd place. 

Team preview – Racing Point

Sergio Perez (-9.4pts) will fight for the best of the rest behind Hamilton, Bottas, and Verstappen. We expect that he is favorite for the 4th place. Lance Stroll after the disappointing DNF in Portugal will try to bounce back. His seat in Racing Point and in the formula is on the line. 

Team preview – Renault

We expect better results for Renault in Italy than Portugal. This is a track that suits Renault and Daniel Ricciardo (-8.2pts) is a really fast driver. We expect him to race for the 4th-5th place. Esteban Ocon (+1.4pts) might have a good value for this weekend. In the previous race, he was good and won his teammate. He wants to continue and deliver points to his team. 

Team preview – McLaren

Carlos Sainz (-2pts) wants to continue the good results. After 2 races with achieving a top 6, he will be a popular driver once again. His teammate Lando Norris (-1.2pts) will try to bounce back. 

Team preview – AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly (+1.8pts) won his first formula one race this year in Italy. AlphaTauri has some taste from the track cause of their test session in Imola before the start of the season. We expect Gasly to be popular but also a value pick. Daniil Kvyal will have to step up to keep his seat in the formula. This race might fit AlphaTauri. 

Team preview – Ferrari

The Italian team has made progress but this track might not fit their car. We have our concerns about the engine of Ferrari. In this high-speed track might struggle. Charles Leclerc (-3pts) will fight for the best outcome while Sebastian Vettel (-2.2pts) will struggle to finish in the top 10.  

Team preview – Haas

The American team will struggle this week. They will try to avoid the last spots on the grid. 

Team preview – Alfa Romeo

The Italian team announced that they will keep the same line-up for next season. Kimi Raikkonen (+11pts) and Antonio Giovinazzi (+13.2pts) will try to have a good race. A top 10 finish will be a ‘’ miracle’’ though. 

Team preview – Williams

George Russell (+14pts) and Nicolas Latifi (+15pts) once again they will fight against Alfa Romeo and Haas. George Russell might be able to win against them cause of their different engine.  

Summing up – Italy Weekend Preview

The 2-day event will be very interesting to watch. Limited free practice, new track and an ongoing battle among the teams all fuel up for an intense weekend. Mercedes is definitely leading the pack, but Verstappen is there to challenge them. The race for the best-of-the-rest will be cruel, with Renault, McLaren and Racing Point. AlphaTauri and Ferrari might have their own battle to be in the points, while the 3 worst teams will struggle once again.

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