Formula 1’s return to Melbourne is a welcome sight and not just for the 112,000 or so Aussies who have already gone through the Albert Park gates for Friday’s practice sessions.
Having now had the opportunity to take in both free practice one and two, the competitive order is clearer and the ideal window to select your F1 Fantasy line-up is now.
The fight for the win still looks set to be between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, but Carlos Sainz will be in the mix and Sergio Perez showed he has strong pace last time out in Saudi Arabia.
Mercedes remains some way off the front-running pace with porpoising issues prevalent around the reformatted street circuit, but there are plenty of other midfield options that could be worth a punt.
Alpine has struggled to keep the weight of its car down but new upgrades for this weekend should help improve performances further, while Haas has two budget options after emerging as the surprise of the season.
Here are the picks to consider for the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.
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Sergio Perez was unfortunate to be the only driver fighting for the win to be affected by the safety car in Jeddah after leading the race from pole early on. But his performance has been enough to earn himself a 0.2m prise rise from the last race, now valued at 17.8m. Esteban Ocon’s strong Saudi race has also put him up by 0.2m in value.
Sainz, Leclerc, Kevin Magnussen and Yuki Tsunoda have each risen by 0.1m since the last race.
Ferrari is on fire and has gone up by 0.1m as the only constructor to rise in price, now valued at 25.8m.
Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton have both dropped by 0.2m in price since Saudi. The seven-time world champion remains as the most expensive driver asset, costing just 30.6m of your 100m budget.
There are plenty of other fallers though, with Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris, Lance Stroll, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi and Verstappen each falling by 0.1m.
Mercedes and McLaren have both dropped by 0.2m, while Aston Martin and AlphaTauri are the other teams to drop in value, both by 0.1m.
Ferrari should be number one priority in your F1 Fantasy line-up. The team is the fastest on the grid so far and has both of its drivers heading up the drivers championship a one-two, Leclerc ahead of Sainz. Fitting either driver in shouldn’t be too difficult either, or you could go bold and triple up on Ferrari assets for a sizeable expenditure of 71.8m.
Magnussen’s fast start to his F1 return makes him great value at 6m. Those that jumped on the Haas bandwagon earlier in the season will be reaping the rewards for some time yet as his price continues to rise race after race.
Ones to avoid
Aston Martin has endured a difficult start to the season and it seems set to continue this weekend. The returning Sebastian Vettel is already playing catch up but an engine issue in practice means his work has already been limited. Lance Stroll has failed to shine much at all this season as the de-facto team leader in the four-time champion’s absence.
Top % picks
With 64% of players choosing the world championship leader, Leclerc is currently the most-picked asset in the game and understandably so with his price remaining relatively low. Magnussen is next-best with 55% picking the Dane, while Ferrari rounds out the top three most-picked asset with 53% selecting the Scuderia.
Australian Grand Prix picks
Charles Leclerc (18.7m)
Carlos Sainz (17.3m)
Sergio Perez (17.8m)
Esteban Ocon (12.5m)
Kevin Magnussen (6m)