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02 July 2020
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We’ve drafted in some expert help to inspire you to pick your F1 Fantasy team with the deadline – the start of qualifying on Saturday – looming ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix! So here is last year’s F1 Fantasy champion, Lewis Johnson, with his picks for the first GP of the season from a starting budget of $100m.
Sign up to F1 Fantasy here
Lewis bagged himself and his girlfriend passes to a full Grand Prix weekend in 2020, and you could win some amazing prizes too this season! Click here to read five secrets to his success, and scroll down for his F1 Fantasy picks for this season below.
So, since last year’s league there have been some significant changes to driver pricing – making my team selection a lot trickier as I can’t afford both Mercedes drivers.
So I stuck with Lewis Hamilton again (coincidentally, he’s my favourite driver) and invested a big portion of my budget into him as he campaigns for his record-equalling seventh world championship.
READ MORE: FORM GUIDE – Why recent history favours Verstappen in Austria
I think of the three drivers I consider to be favourites for this year (Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc), Hamilton is the safest pair of hands, with a good combination of experience and talent. I find him to be far more consistent at scoring F1 Fantasy points than the other two.
Based on pre-season testing (which feels like years ago now) I’ve selected both Racing Point drivers as a solid core to my team, as I’m hoping the 2019 Mercedes car design they have adopted will yield plenty of points as the chassis will hopefully promote Racing Point back to "the best of the rest".
However I still have some doubts about Lance Stroll’s ability to finish races, which is why I’ve backed Sergio Perez over him as my Turbo Driver, which multiplies his score by two.
READ MORE: How to play – the essential guide to get you started in F1 Fantasy
Lando Norris is another carry over from last year as a solid points scorer and a reliable finisher. He was also a way of hedging my bets a little, as McLaren’s development over the last two years has gone from strength to strength and I’m hoping the upward trend will continue and they will be a little closer to previous glory this season.
Finally, Romain Grosjean was a bit of a wildcard, partly because he was the best I could afford with the budget I had left, however, I am hopeful that the 2019 season was the motivation Haas needed to continue the good work of 2018 and continue to push their development and become more and more competitive.
READ MORE: Why Hamilton is under more pressure in 2020 than any other recent season
As for the constructors, even more so than last year, Mercedes seem to be the obvious choice.
They have an incredibly strong and experienced driver line-up and the development work revealed in pre-season testing with incoming upgrades showed that they are once again comfortably ahead of the field.
READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Mercedes before the 2020 F1 season starts
However, the prolonged gap between testing and the delayed start to the season could throw a spanner in the works as Red Bull are renowned for development leaps mid-to-late-season, and often become incredibly competitive in the closing stages.
The delay could easily have artificially accelerated this process, putting them in a very good starting position and giving Mercedes quite the run for their money. Either way it should lead to an exciting 2020 season.
Think you can beat last year’s winner Lewis Johnson? Sign up to F1 Fantasy here and set your team before qualifying starts for the first Grand Prix of the season! Prizes on offer include 2x Paddock Club passes to a 2021 Grand Prix.
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