F1 Fantasy: United States Grand Prix tips, picks and predictions

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Who are the must-haves and ones to avoid this weekend for the United States Grand Prix and F1 Fantasy?

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Red Bull is still the most popular constructor in F1 Fantasy but can it win at COTA?

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Everything is bigger in Texas or so they say and right about now a nice big points total in F1 Fantasy would be very welcome.

The end of the season is going to arrive rapidly and this is the first of six quick-fire rounds to finish off the 2021 Formula 1 season.

The weather weather looks like it’ll remain dry during qualifying and the race so we’ll get to see a genuine pecking order for the first time in several races.

Mercedes is rumoured to be running its engines at a higher power mode between now and the end of the season as it hopes to stave off the Red Bull threat but that leaves them vulnerable to more reliability woes that have already popped up.

If those engines can hold on, there’s a case to be made for a doubling-up on Mercedes assets. It’ll be a costly investment though now is the time to get bold if you’re chasing down a league leader.

Those at the top end of their mini leagues may want to play safe and stick with what they know but there’s some nice options to consider in the midfield. Here’s our tips and predictions for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

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Price changes

Risers

There are two drivers that have risen in price since the Turkish GP though their fortunes in the race could hardly have differed more. Fernando Alonso is now up to 15.2m but his lap one spin left him with a recovery drive to 16th. Charles Leclerc meanwhile led in the closing stages until a stop for fresh intermediates dropped him down the order, eventually finishing up a strong 4th. The Monégasque is now ranked at 17.7m.

Despite Ferrari having the stronger showing around Istanbul, McLaren is the only team to rise in value since the last race weekend. The team will now set you back 18.9m.

Fallers

No driver has dipped in value just yet though Lewis Hamilton is currently the closest to doing so. Having lost the lead of the championship to Max Verstappen in Turkey, the reigning champion is 82% of the way to a price drop ahead of any on-track running.

His Mercedes team is the only constructor to decrease since the Turkish GP. Merc is still comfortably the most expensive asset in the game but will now ‘only’ cost 37.1m

 

Must-haves

A Mercedes asset is a good shout this weekend. The Three-Pointed Star has always gone well around COTA in the hybrid era and Valtteri Bottas was a winner the last time F1 raced in Texas. The Finn is the cheapest asset available to you this weekend from the reigning champions and has a fairly fresh power unit at his disposal. Since signing for Alfa Romeo, his performances have been a step up from his usual average and he’s performing like a driver at ease with his F1 future.

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The case of Ferrari vs McLaren is still a tough one to decide. On one hand, the Scuderia has a new engine for both drivers that has brought with it a reported 15hp boost which should account for at least a tenth in lap time. It’s a slim margin but so is the 7.5 points which separate the two teams in the constructors’ standings. On the other side of the coin, McLaren is running with Mercedes power which around the COTA circuit should be the engine to beat in terms of outright performance. Lower-speed corners have McLaren on the back foot and the start of sector three will have them at a disadvantage but the long back straight and aerodynamic efficiency will be crucial in determining the balance of power between the two.

 

Ones to avoid

AlphaTauri look good in the hands of one of its drivers and unfortunately for Yuki Tsunoda, it isn’t him. The rookie has improved from earlier mistakes this season that resulted in silly crashes and disappointing results but in terms of outright speed, the Japanese driver hasn’t matched the levels reached by team-mate Pierre Gasly in recent rounds.

Likewise there has only been one driver to stand out this season at Alfa Romeo though Antonio Giovinazzi has had to deal with more than a fair share of bad luck. On F1’s last visit to COTA, team-mate Kimi Räikkönen out-performed the Italian in the race despite starting behind him on the grid. It’s a familiar pattern that’s played out over the course of this season.

 

Top % picks

Red Bull remains the top pick for constructor despite being behind Mercedes in the championship. The team is now valued at 26.3m so remain a sizeable investment if you’re going to select them.

Lando Norris and Max Verstappen are currently selected by over 60% of players in the game with Pierre Gasly a distant third with 48% picking the Frenchman. George Russell and Charles Leclerc round out the top five most-picked drivers on F1 Fantasy heading into the US Grand Prix. They’re picked by 45% and 36% respectively.

 

United States Grand Prix picks

Drivers:

Lewis Hamilton (33.1m)

Valtteri Bottas (23.3m)

Lando Norris (14.2m)

Pierre Gasly (12.0m)

Nicholas Latifi (6.4m)

Team:

Williams (6.3m)