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After a few weeks off, Formula 1 is back this week with the Belgian Grand Prix. And it’s set up to be a weird one, though hopefully not as weird as last year’s rain-soaked trip to Belgium that featured no actual on-track racing.
Many good cars have grid penalties this week, which means that we have Max Verstappen starting 15th and Charles Leclerc starting 16th. That can really warp how this race will go, as the front row is now their less-heralded teammates, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez.
Below you will find our Formula 1 DraftKings DFS lineup picks for 8/27/22, with the slate locking at 9:00 a.m. ET. If you have any questions or want to talk about Formula 1, you can find me on Twitter at @juscarts.
If you’re familiar with using DraftKings for NASCAR, this Formula 1 format is going to feel really, really different from what you’re used to. It’s a lot closer to the NFL single-game showdown slates than it is to anything on the NASCAR side.
So, here’s how the scoring and format work. You’ll pick five drivers and a constructor. One of those drivers will be your captain, who earns you 1.5-times the points but also costs 1.5-times as much as they usually cost. For the constructor, you’re choosing one of the F1 teams.
So, here’s how the scoring works. Your driver only gets points if they finish in the top 10. Here’s a chart for how that breaks down.
In addition, the driver with the fastest lap of the race gets three points. You get 0.1 points per lap led, five points for beating your teammate, one point for being classified at the finish (finished 90% of the race, essentially), and points for place differential. Finish three spots higher than your grid position and you get two points. Finish five better and you get three points. Finish 10 better to get five points. You also lose points for negative place differential, starting at three spots.
The constructor points work the same way, with some added points if both cars do well.
It’s confusing, but for Formula 1 DFS to work, it probably had to be confusing.
Now that we’ve gone over that, let’s talk drivers.
Because of a grid penalty, Verstappen starts 15th, his worst start of the season. In fact, it’s just the second time this year he starts worse than fourth.
The last time? Hungary, when he started 10th and drove up through the field to win.
Barring mechanical failure, Verstappen is a great source of place differential and should be able to gain the maximum number of those points possible.
Also worth noting is how good Verstappen has been this weekend. Third in Practice 1, first in Practice 2, second in Practice 3, and then fastest in two of the three qualifying rounds, including turning in the only lap under 1:44 in the third round.
Oh, and Verstappen won this race last year, but…that doesn’t mean much, since last year’s race was run under caution and ended after three laps. But, uhh, he qualified well last year.
Red Bull and Ferrari both have a driver starting near the front and then one starting in the back half of the field. Meanwhile, Mercedes has Lewis Hamilton starting fourth and George Russell starting fifth.
And that’s why I’m going with Mercedes: there’s less chance of error. Verstappen and Leclerc will have to navigate traffic, but the Mercedes duo starts near the front and should both run in the top five for much of the day. This is a little bit of risk mitigation here. Plus, it’s really expensive to pair Verstappen and Red Bull at this point, so I’m going to be more likely to try other things at constructor over the second half.
The biggest risk with Russell is that he’ll fail to get his points for beating his teammate, considering he starts one spot behind Hamilton. But the price drop from Hamilton to Russell makes me more intrigued by Russell this week.
Last year, Russell finished second here, and while that result itself doesn’t really count because the race didn’t really happen, it is worth noting that Russell showed he knew how to navigate this track in qualifying, as he ended up qualifying second in a Williams car, starting ahead of both Mercedes cars and everyone who wasn’t Verstappen.
Magnussen starts eight spots ahead of teammate Mick Schumacher. That’s….well, that’s really the main appeal here. Barring some kind of insanity on the track, Magnussen should get an easy five points there.
Magnussen was on a nice run early in July, scoring points in back-to-back races, but things went south after that, as he was 18th in France and 16th in Hungary. It’s now been four races in a row that Schumacher has finished ahead of him.
But Magnussen is the better driver, even if the results haven’t gone his way a ton. The major advantage he has on the starting grid should allow him to stay out ahead of Schumacher, and if the Haas cars can regain some of the speed they were showing, he can sneak into the points.
Magnussen’s best finish here is eighth in 2018. He also has a pair of 12ths here.
Albon starts really high, as he rolls off the grid sixth. His teammate Nicholas Latifi starts 11th.
Albon hasn’t had a ton of upside this year, as he usually starts outside of the top 10 and finishes around where he starts. But he’s now gotten the five points for beating his teammate in five consecutive races and has failed to beat Latifi just twice this season. Albon might be the most reliable source of those points in Formula 1.
Other than that, there’s not a lot to say here. Albon has finished 14th or better in all but three races, but only has two finishes in the top 10. I’m playing him this week because I’m hoping he proves to be as tough to pass when he starts sixth as he is when he starts deeper in the field.
Albon finished sixth here in 2020.
I’ll be honest with y’all: I don’t love this play. I’d rather pay $1,000 more for Stroll’s Aston Martin teammate Sebastian Vettel, but part of how I write this column is that I make sure my picks constitute a legal DFS lineup, which is why I went Stroll.
But Stroll has been decent here, with an average finish of 12.6 in five starts. It’s not his best track or anything, but he has run some solid laps here over the years.
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