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Formula Fantasy League – Bahrain #1 Weekend preview

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

Previous Formula Fantasy Review – Turkey

The weekend in Turkey was one to remember. The rainy weather on Saturday forced the qualifying session into red flags. The wet track was so slippery that the drivers resembled the drive experience as driving on ice! The qualifying results were incredibly unexpected, with Stroll taking pole. On Sunday, the circuit’s road was wet for the entire race, although it did not rain at all during the race. Lewis Hamilton started from 6th place but managed to win and seal his 7th title to equal the record of Michael Schumacher. 

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

Turkey review: Free Practice

The weekend’s action started with the first two free practices on Friday and followed by the third on Saturday morning as usual. 

In the first free practice, all the drivers were surprised by the slipperiness of the circuit. The lack of grip down on the surface was due to the new asphalt they put down a few weeks ago. Pirelli made the selection of the tires without that knowledge and they bring their hardest tire compounds. All these conditions were on a dry track without rain. 

Red Bull was the best team on the track and Max Verstappen with Alex Albon managed to make the fastest laps. Ferrari was next with Charles Leclerc finishing 3rd and Sebastian Vettel 5th. Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat for AlphaTauri took the 4th and 6th place. Mercedes surprised everyone with their poor performance. Valtteri Bottas finished 9th and Lewis Hamilton 15th. 

In the second free practice, Mercedes made progress and finished 3rd and 4th. Max Verstappen was the fastest driver once again and Charles Leclerc finished 2nd. Alexander Albon ended up in 5th and AlphaTauri was next with 6th and 7th place. 

The final session of the free practice was on Saturday morning. The heavy rain in Istanbul made the conditions pretty tough. The drivers started with intermediates but swapped to full wet quickly. Max Verstappen was by far the fastest driver and Charles Leclerc with Alex Albon followed. Mercedes was again nowhere to be found. Lewis Hamilton didn’t try to make a fast lap, finishing in the last position while his teammate Valtteri Bottas got the 8th position. 

Turkey review: Qualifying

The qualifying session started in extremely challenging conditions. The rain made the track even more slippery and the drivers found it difficult to keep the car on the track. 

In Q1, with seven minutes to go, the conditions got worse and a red flag stopped the session. Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly were in the drop zone while Max Verstappen was in 14th place. The session started again after 40 minutes and with under 4 minutes to end, Romain Grosjean lost control of his car and beached it in the gravel, forcing out the second red flag. 

The action continued with 3 minutes and 30 seconds on the clock and everyone had only one fast lap to improve their laps. Leclerc and Gasly managed to make a faster lap and get out of the drop zone. Verstappen improved his lap by achieving the fastest lap while Hamilton failed to keep the car within the track limits finishing 14th. Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat, George Russell, Romain Grosjean, and Nicholas Latifi failed to make the cut in Q2. 

In the Q2, Verstappen and Red Bull continued being on top in these tricky conditions. Mercedes showed some improvement in this session by finishing 2nd and 3rd while Alfa Romeo shocked everyone with the qualification of both cars into Q3. Antonio Giovinazzi made the 5th fastest lap and Kimi Raikkonen the 8th. Ferrari and McLaren struggled to get the wet tires to work and failed to qualify into Q3. Lando Norris, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, and Pierre Gasly knocked out. 

In the Q3, Racing Point managed to surprise everyone. Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon tried an alternative tactic by switching to intermediate tires. Ocon failed to make them work, but Perez made the fastest lap and continued to improve his lap time. His teammate, Lance Stroll followed and switched also to the intermediates. He focused and made the fastest lap that put him into 1st place. Max Verstappen couldn’t beat him but got second place in front of Sergio Perez. Racing Point got their first-ever pole under this name, with just a few races until they will change it to the ‘’Aston Martin’’ brand. 

Turkey review: Race

On Sunday, the circuit’s road was wet for the entire race. Even though it didn’t rain at all during the race, the fast lane surface was still wet and the drivers couldn’t switch to soft sets of tires. Lewis Hamilton had an amazing race and his different approach to the maintenance of the tires gave him the 10th victory of the season and more important the 7th title of his career, to equal the record of Michael Schumacher. Sergio Perez with Racing Point finished 2nd and Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari 3rd. 

The race in Turkey was stunning. The wet track shook things up, making the gap between Mercedes and the rest of the teams really narrow. Mercedes was struggling for the entire weekend, and Valtteri Bottas never found the pace he wanted to finish 14th. Racing Point and Red Bull clearly targeted a race under the rain, by choosing a heavy-rain format for their car. 

Fantasy points in Turkey

How Fantasy managers did in Turkey

The poor performance of Mercedes in the free practices made Max Verstappen with Red Bull the most popular pick with 86% and captained by 42.5%. Charles Leclerc was second most popular with 73% and Hamilton got third, owned by 70% and captained by 30.7%! Alexander Albon was picked by 52%, Bottas by 45%, and Pierre Gasly by 44%. 

The big disappointment of the weekend was Valterri Bottas. He didn’t find a good pace and struggled to keep the car inside the track. The most disappointing fact for the Finnish driver was that his teammate managed to take the victory, while he could reach the top 10. Red Bull had a disappointing race missing the opportunity, not only for victory but also for a podium. 

Bahrain #1 Weekend preview – the circuit

After many races in Europe, the show is heading to Bahrain for the next two weekends. Two different layouts on the same track will give us an action-packed sequence and challenge the teams. Bahrain has large run-off areas and is regarded as one of the safest tracks in the world. Also, the circuit has long straight lines and the cars with higher max speed should benefit. 

Ferrari has the most constructors wins (6) and Sebastian Vettel has the most driver wins (4). Last year, Mercedes managed to beat the pole man Charles Leclerc and win the 1st and the 2nd place with Hamilton and Bottas.

Bahrain #1 Weekend preview – driver prices

Lewis Hamilton is once again the most expensive driver, priced at 22.7M. His teammate Valtteri Bottas is following with 19.1M and Max Verstappen with 18.8M. Then we have the trio of Daniel Ricciardo with 14.4M, Charles Leclerc with 14.0M, and Sergio Perez with 13.8M. Alexander Albon is a little bit behind them with 12.5M and Carlos Sainz is following with 11.6M. 

Next, there is the duo of Lando Norris (11.1M), and Lance Stroll (10.8M). The next group of drivers is priced at around 8.5M. Esteban Ocon at 8.9M, with Pierre Gasly at 8.7M, and Sebastian Vettel at 8.4M. The second AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat is at 6.3M. 

Finally, we have the cheapest drivers of Alfa Romeo, Haas, and Williams priced from 2M to 2.7M except for Kimi Raikokken with 4.5M price. 

What to expect

Bahrain is a safe circuit, so we don’t expect a safety car or many accidents. It’s a high-speed circuit with sharp turns at the end of the big straights. 

Mercedes will be of course the fastest and the team that everyone wants to beat. Red Bull still hasn’t announced their 2nd driver of next season and this weekend, the performance of Alexander Albon but also his contender for the seat Sergio Perez is crucial. Ferrari is improving race by race and we are looking forward to seeing if they can continue to deliver good results in Bahrain. 

Team preview – Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (22.7M) won the championship in Turkey and now he wants to get more wins. His teammate Valtteri Bottas (19.1M) will fight hard to bounce back from his terrible performance in Istanbul. Mercedes is the big favorite in the race and it will be pretty hard to beat them.

Team preview – Red Bull

Max Verstappen 18.8M wants to return to the podium and win the Mercedes. While his teammate Alex Albon (12.5M) needs the best possible results to keep his seat in the team for next year. 

Team preview – Racing Point

Sergio Perez (13.6M) will fight to show his talent and his consistency to Red Bull so he can claim the second spot for next year. After the podium in Turkey, he is in the right direction. Lance Stroll (10.6M) won the pole position in Turkey, but failed to keep a good pace in the race and finished 9th. Now, he wants to get more points for his team for the battle of the constructors. 

Team preview – Renault

Daniel Ricciardo (14.4M) had a DNF in the last two times in Bahrain This weekend he wants to put an end to this negative streak and get a top 6 finish.  Esteban Ocon (8.9M) is definitely a fast driver and comfortable with the track. In his last appearance there in 2018 he had a point finish as 10th with a weak Force-India car.  

Team preview – McLaren

Carlos Sainz (11.6M) and Lando Norris (11.0M) are targeting to grab as many points as possible for the battle of 3rd place in the constructors’ championship. Mclaren has a really fast car and does well in the straights, so this track might fit them.

Team preview – AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly (8.7M) can always be competitive. We expect him to be a popular choice this weekend with his very attractive price… Daniil Kvyat (6.3M) probably won’t be driving in the league next year, so he will try to enjoy his last few races and prove a point.  

Team preview – Ferrari

Ferrari is improving a lot race by race. The Italian team wants perfect races for a higher spot in the constructors’ championship. Charles Leclerc (14.0M) is a really fast driver and last year won the pole position in this track. Sebastian Vettel (8.4M) finally had a good result in Turkey with his podium. Now, he wants to find his form and bring good results for his team. However, their car lacks speed in the straights, so it will be pretty hard to compete in this very fast, 3-DRS-zone circuit.

Team preview – Haas

Both of their drivers are having their last races in the formula. Kevin Magnussen (2.7M) and Romain Grosjean (2.4M) struggle a lot this year and that will not change. Witnessing a surprise for them will be great, considering both drivers’ history in the league, but that would be very unlikely.

Team preview – Alfa Romeo

We expect Kimi Raikkonen (4.5M) to have a bigger chance for the best driver of the 3 weaker teams. His last few performances raised the bar very high, and he’s now priced 2M ahead of his teammate and very far ahead of the rest of the bottom teams. He’s a clear favorite for 15th place, if not even higher. Antonio Giovinazzi (2.5M) will fight for the best possible outcome, but we expect to be in the last 5 positions.

Team preview – Williams

George Russell (2.6M) and Nicolas Latifi (2.0M) once again will fight against Alfa Romeo and Haas. Williams is the only team without a top 10 (points finish) finish so far this season. Russel is doing great in qualifying so far, but will he manage to finish high in a race event?

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