The second Sprint Qualifying of the season means that your choices for the Italian Grand Prix have Mega Driver implications; who should be going in your teams this weekend?
There’s been confirmation from Max Verstappen that the team don’t intend to take an engine penalty for this weekend despite knowing they have to at some point before the end of the season, so the Dutchman may be a viable option for your MD chip.
Mercedes has had the majority of the success at Monza in recent seasons though and will be a tougher prospect to face than the team was a week ago at Zandvoort.
Lewis Hamilton said ahead of the race that he expects the team to be more competitive in Italy, but the fight for best of the rest is a little more unclear. Ferrari looked strong in qualifying but slipped back in the race last weekend, while McLaren could only salvage a single point from a nightmare weekend.
Here are a few last minute tips for the Italian Grand Prix weekend and your Fantasy F1 teams.
Fernando Alonso’s mighty race starts have seen him collect plenty of points in recent races and the Spaniard is one of two price-risers since last weekend. He and Charles Leclerc have both risen in value by 0.1m to 15.2m and 17.7m respectively.
Yuki Tsunoda and Sergio Perez have both dropped by 0.1m since last weekend. Ahead of the race, Tsunoda admitted he had been in ‘full-send’ mode too often this season that saw him make mistakes, but appears to have realised this going forward.
Perez was the man on the move last weekend but his heroics and rise into the points wasn’t enough to prevent him dropping to 18.4m in value. The Mexican’s fresh power unit might be a tempting factor this weekend around the power-hungry Monza circuit.
This weekend is the second of three scheduled Sprint Qualifying events of the 2021 season. It means there is another session in which drivers can accumulate valuable fantasy points and this should factor in to your line-up this weekend.
Realistically, fitting both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton into your teams isn’t feasible while building up a competitive supporting cast, so which of the championship contenders do you pick?
Verstappen has seven wins this season and is riding the wave of a maiden home victory while Hamilton is confident Mercedes should take a step forward in performance this weekend at a track that has suited the team in the past.
Much could depend on practice results but if you are looking for a differential pick to make up points on league rivals, Hamilton might be worth picking this weekend.
Last year’s race winner Pierre Gasly is in the form of his life currently. His P4 finish at Zandvoort after a lonely race only showed he has his AlphaTauri car figured out and he’s sure to build on the performance from 12 months ago that made him an F1 winner. At 11.9m, he’s an undervalued midfield prospect.
Ones to watch
Esteban Ocon is yet to change in price but is on the precipice of increasing in value. Get him in sooner rather than later if you intend to have him for the Italian GP. Likewise, Max Verstappen and George Russell are on the cusp of a price rise, though the former might be the better bet with Red Bull’s increased performances this year.
Keep an eye on Perez too. While he has fallen short of his team-mate’s pace this year, a new power unit around a power sensitive track could help the Mexican close that gap this weekend.
Ones to avoid
This will depend entirely on practice but last year’s Italian Grand Prix was one of the worst race weekends for Ferrari of the season. The returning Tifosi will not be happy if there is to be a repeat, but both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz said ahead of practice they expect it to be one of the toughest races this season for the team.
Daniel Ricciardo’s miserable 2021 experience continued as he was forced to help team-mate Lando Norris secure a solitary point for the team. His divebomb-technique was clear to see in Monza races in the past, but as he hasn’t shown anything like that commitment yet in his new car, he’s a poor choice on paper at least.
2021 Italian Grand Prix picks
Max Verstappen (25.7m)
Sergio Perez (18.4m)
Lando Norris (14.2m)
Fernando Alonso (15.2m)
George Russell (6.2m)