F1 Fantasy: top picks, predictions and new rules for 2023 season


Driver and constructor F1 Fantasy picks for the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, including some need to know tips and tricks for the new season

Start of the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

Grand Prix Photo

The 2023 F1 season is now fully underway, which means a stream of on-track action and a new year of F1 Fantasy – giving players a chance to hop into the team principal hot seat.

It’s not too late to join in either, with registration still open, and the promise of mid-season championships that will give late entries a level playing field against those who joined at the start.

With a $100 million cost cap per team, players can pick up to three teams, each consisting of five drivers and two constructors who will score points across the season. These are based on how well they perform in qualifying, sprint races and grands prix, where points are available for places gained as well as finishing positions.

Each driver and constructor is initially valued based on their previous performance: reigning world champion Max Verstappen and Red Bull being the most costly picks in both categories.

This season there are also a host of new changes to the F1 Fantasy experience, which will significantly affect tactics in the game. They include:

Two constructors per team, up from one last year
New chips to boost points at a limited number of races
• The end of dynamic pricing – driver and teams values only change once a week
• Streaks, which rewarded consistent performances, have been dropped
• New points for overtaking and fastest pit stops (for constructors)
• Reduction in points for gaining positions
Reduced free transfers

Even with two races already behind us, it’s still not too late to jump in on the F1 Fantasy action. Here’s who we think you should pick for your 2023 F1 Fantasy team (click to jump to our team picks) – plus a few tips on what you should avoid in your bid


Main contenders – drivers

Driver Reason
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen head portrait
Victory in Bahrain and a podium finish in Saudi Arabia has placed Max Verstappen in firm title contention once again. The sheer dominance of Red Bull’s RB19 means he remains the favourite for pole positions and race victories — as well as sizeable F1 Fantasy points hauls.

The Dutchman has already earned 96 points in the game this season, and is currently being used by 63% of all players, but he’s still a costly expense.

Whilst the championship is still once sided, Verstappen’s $27.1m price tag can be justified, but if other teams begin to catch up, more economical options will start to reveal themselves.

Charles Leclerc 

Off the back of a bitter title defeat in 2022, dogged by team strategy and driver errors, Charles Leclerc looks to be a more mature and patient driver in 2023. Although continued issues with reliability and tyre degradation have kept him from the podium so far, his talent has hauled the Ferrari to competitive qualifying performances, and useful F1 Fantasy points.

If Ferrari can resolve its issues and improve its race pace, Leclerc should be in contention for the podium. His current $5.9m discount to Verstappen may be a hard sell right now, but could be a long term investment if you have faith that Ferrari will start closing the gap to the reigning champions.

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso Aston Martin portrait
Aston Martin was the talk of the paddock during pre-season testing, and Fernando Alonso has certainly kept us believing the hype. The Silverstone-based team has become a regular at the front of the grid, showing good pace in qualifying and during the race.

The Spaniard’s wealth of experience combined with a fast car has proven to be a profitable combination for anyone who adds Alonso to their fantasy lineup — and at $8.3m he’s the best budget option the grid has to offer.


Drivers to watch

Driver Reason
Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll portrait



Having spent the majority of his career fighting in the midfield, Lance Stroll has made the most of Aston Martin’s newfound pace, finishing sixth in Bahrain and was running a comfortable fourth before retiring in Jeddah.

For $7.5m, Stroll’s reputation for consistency combined with the second fastest car on the grid could prove to be a highly profitable option as the season progresses.

Sergio Perez 
Sergio Perez portrait
Similarly to his team-mate, Sergio Perez has shown incredible pace in the RB19 during the first two races of the season – second in Bahrain and first in Jeddah.

The Mexican is a safe bet for consistent point finishes, with 656 Fantasy points last year and is a thrifty selection for a top driver – especially if you don’t want to spend over a quarter of your budget on Verstappen!

Pierre Gasly 
Pierre Gasly headshot Alpine
As of now, Alpine is struggling to find the pace that led it to fourth in the constructors’ championship, but Pierre Gasly has wasted no time in making an impression at his new team.

Despite starting last in Bahrain, the Frenchman soared through the field to ninth, collecting 20 F1 Fantasy points – 11 coming from overtakes.

There’s no doubt he’ll continue to show his class throughout the season, and for $8.2m, he’s a cheap yet experienced driver that could help to fill your lineup.

There are other notable options worth considering — depending on how much of your budget is going spare. Lewis Hamilton ($23.7m) and George Russell ($18.6m) are expensive but dependable options who scored consistently last year — both were among the top five scoring drivers. However, you’ll be limited to much cheaper options to fill the remaining slots.

If you’re looking for a cut-price option to lead your driver line-up, then Carlos Sainz, at $17.2m, is the cheapest driver from last year’s top-three teams, the Spaniard hoping to build upon a frustrating campaign in 2022.


Drivers to avoid

Even with the addition of James Vowles as team principal, Williams has started the 2023 season towards the back of the grid, producing scarce rewards from qualifying and races. Although Alex Albon ($5.5m) impressed during his F1 return in 2022, the car beneath him limits his potential to contend for higher grid positions – only overtaking 26 cars last season compared to Lewis Hamilton’s 56. Team-mate and F1 rookie Logan Sargeant would be a riskier addition to your driver lineup, despite being the cheapest driver in the game at $4m: the potential for mishaps as he gets to grip with the series could incur costly penalty points.

AlphaTauri and McLaren are in a similar positions, with an inexperienced driver lineup burdened with a seemingly underperforming car. That said, both Nyck de Vries ($5m) and Oscar Piastri ($6.8m) have proven to possess talent capable of climbing an F1 grid, and could prove to be a good and cheap driver transfer if their teams are able to find performance.



Mercedes and Aston Martin on track on 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix weekend

The dream team? Mercedes and Aston Martin

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Unlike last year, F1 Fantasy players are now able to pick two constructors to support over the course of the 2023 F1 season. For the best results, players are able to pair Red Bull and Aston Martin, which combined will cost players $34.2m, leaving $65.8m for drivers. The chance to have the two quickest teams under one roof is a rare occurrence in the world of F1 Fantasy and is something you should take advantage of sooner rather than later, as prices for both teams (and their drivers) rise.

Other obvious options include Mercedes or Ferrari, but as of now, both teams aregamble. Although the Silver Arrows did find performance in the later half of the 2022 season, Mercedes once again started on the back foot in 2023, with performance somewhat unknown.

Ferrari has similar issues, with both drivers struggling with race pace and tyre degradation, that causes them to lose valuable F1 Fantasy points during the race. it;s likely to be only a matter of time before both teams fix their issues, but for now, there are better options elsewhere.


Top F1 Fantasy tips

Whether you decide to pick from our own selection or blaze your own trail, there are some tips to avoid losing out on big point hauls, and potentially making significant gains.

Cheaper drivers, although handy for filling out more expensive driver lineups, are unlikely to score qualifying points. So in order to make up the deficit, pick those who are known for good race pace such as Nico Hulkenberg ($4.3m) or teammate Kevin Magnussen ($6.7m).

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It’s important to avoid drivers who are likely to cause accidents or DNF where possible, as this could result in a costly point deduction (-25), and instead focus on reliability and consistency.

It makes rookie drivers such as Logan Sargeant, Oscar Piastri, and Nyck de Vries more of a risk. However, they also represent an opportunity given their low values at the start of the season. If they perform strongly, then their price should rise, giving you the opportunity to sell at a profit.

Fast-starters can rack up points from the moment that lights go out, with bonuses for overtaking and making up places (1 point per place in both cases). The effect is similar to last year, where two points were awarded for places made up, capped to ten places.

Don’t overlook pitstops. Red Bull gives you a good chance of bagging the ten bonus points for performing the fastest stop in each race: it was fastest in ten of last year’s 22 GPs.  A speedy team can also claim further points for the secind- and third-fastest stops.


F1 Fantasy deadlines

As with last year, the deadline for locking your team comes after the third practice session ahead of the race. There’s a prominent countdown clock on the team selection page, to help you make the cut.

But, unlike previous seasons, you don’t have to leave it there. New for 2023 is a ‘Final Fix’ chip that can be used once per season, allowing you to make one transfer between qualifying and the race. So if Logan Sargeant clinches pole after a haphazard Monte Carlo qualifying session, that’s probably your opportunity to play it.



The top two players in the world at the end of the season will both get tickets to grands prix in 2024, while the third-place finisher gets the consolation of a year’s subscription to F1TV. Mini-league competitions, running over a small number of race weekends will offer the chance to win more.



As with last year, there is the global league and mini leagues to enter, as well as the option of joining or creating public or private leagues for the chance of glory against family, friends or colleagues.


Rules and regulations

There are a host of new changes of the 2023 F1 Fantasy season, all of which you need to know if you want beat the rest of the field!

Scoring – Qualifying

Points will be awarded and deducted based on a drivers/constructors’ performance during a grand prix weekend.

Drivers will be awarded for individual qualifying performance, with ten points given to pole position all the way down to 1 point for tenth. If drivers fail to set a time they will be deducted 5 points and if disqualified, they will be deducted 15 points.

Constructors will score the combined total of its two drivers as well as scoring points for one of the following outcomes:

Neither driver reaches Q2 -1 point
One driver reaches Q2 1 point
Both drivers reach Q2 3 points
One driver reaches Q3 5 points
Both drivers reach Q3 10 points

Scoring – Grands Prix

Overhead view of Red Bull pitstop

Points for pitstops in this year’s game

Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images

Positions gained points As well as scoring points for finishing position, points will also be awarded for positions gained (1 point per position) and lost (-1 point per position). Unlike last year, there is no cap.

Overtaking points This year also sees the awarding of overtaking points. A move is classed as “when one driver legally passes another on track, and the driver passed was not entering or in the pit lane or suffering a car failure or going unreasonably slow” and earns one point per overtake. So just hope that your drivers get caught in a multi-lap dice where positions are swapped multiple times.

Fastest lap / Driver of the day points Ten points will also be awarded for fastest lap honours and driver of the day.

Race result points The full race result point system follows the same points system found in Formula 1 – 25 points to the winner, 18 to second, 15 to third and so on.

Retirement points deductions 20 points will be deducted for DNFs and 25 points will be deducted for disqualifications.

Constructors / pitstop points Constructors will score the combined total of its two drivers in the race, with the exception of the driver of the day bonus, as well as scoring points for the following:

Fastest pitstop 10 points
Second-fastest pitstop 5 points
Third fastest pitstop 3 points



Players will have access to four ‘chips’, only one of which can be used to give you a boost before each race weekend. Each chip can only be used once during the season and you can only use one per race.

Autopilot This will automatically give your DRS Boost to the highest scoring driver in your team.
When to use it: save it for a sprint weekend for maximum bonus

Extra DRS Boost This will triple the score of a selected driver for a grand prix weekend.
When to use it: Another one for a sprint weekend, when there’s a driver with a clear advantage

No Negative If you’ve elected for a riskier strategy, this chip will stop you from scoring any negative points over the course of the weekend – meaning the only way is up!
When to use it: Is it looking like a wet weekend in treacherous Singapore? Take out this insurance policy

Wildcard This will allow you to make an unlimited amount of changes to your team whilst staying under the cost cap.
When to use it: Save for after the Australian Grand Prix, where the past races and early upgrades will have painted a better picture of the running order

Limitless Similar to the wildcard, this will allow you to make unlimited changes to your team with no cost cap for just one grand prix – allowing you to pick the best teams and drivers
When to use it: When trying to recover points after a slow start or in the final stages of the season when top teams and drivers have separated themselves from the rest of the field.

Final Fix – This allows you to make a single change between the end of qualifying and the start of the grand prix.
When to use it: To transfer in a driver who has qualified unexpectedly high on a track where overtaking is tricky


Transfers and values

2022 F1 cars in parc ferme

Ahead of each race, you will have two free transfers to customise your driver or constructor lineup. Changing this regularly each week to keep up with driver form can give you a significant advantage over the rest of the league.

There is now no benefit in timing your transfers during the week: dynamic pricing used to allow players to trade their way to astronomical team values. However, driver and team values will now be updated after races to reflect their performances. Demand for drivers and teams within the F1 Fantasy world will no longer affect prices.


DRS Boost

Score double points! Activate a DRS boost on one driver in your line-up per race to receive double their points tally for the upcoming grand prix weekend.


Point Deductions

If you exceed the driver transfer allowance (2), you will be deducted four points plus additional transfer. Similarly, if you create a team after the team-lock deadline, which closes before qualifying, you will be deducted ten points.