Fantasy F1: top picks and predictions for the 2021 Belgian GP

F1

Who are the must-haves for your F1 Fantasy team and who should you avoid for this weekend?

Lance Stroll, 2021 Belgian GP

Aston Martin is one of the teams to change in price since the Hungarian GP

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Which way should you go this weekend? Do you back Max Verstappen and Red Bull and the high-rake philosophy that has brought the majority of the victories in 2021 or do you opt for a resurgent Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton?

The latter team and driver combination took the lead of both championships in Hungary and Hamilton claims the team will make a step forward in the second half of the year. If you have the funding to spare, it is an attractive prospect for your F1 Fantasy team.

Rain is set to spice up the weekend even if the precipitation doesn’t materialise. Teams will be forced to pick set-ups that suit the demands of the lightning fast sectors 1 and 3 versus the twists and turns of sector 2 regardless of rain arriving or not during the race.

Here are a few considerations to make ahead of the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix for your F1 Fantasy line-ups.

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Price changes

It has been a busy summer and the four-week break between races means there are plenty of assets that have changed in price since the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Risers

The biggest rise in price is Ferrari. The team has risen by 0.2m in value since Budapest to reach 18.9m though it is not the only constructor to appreciate. Aston Martin and McLaren have each risen by 0.1m to 16.5 and 18.7m respectively.

Several drivers will now cost you more with Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc all rising by 0.1m ahead of Belgian Grand Prix qualifying.

Fallers

The other end of the equation hasn’t been quite as busy with fewer assets falling in value since Hungary. Red Bull Racing is the sole team to drop in value after its disappointing result in the last race. The team is now valued at 26.5m.

Sergio Perez, Yuki Tsunoda, Antonio Giovinazzi and Daniel Ricciardo are the price fallers on the driver side of things, each dropping by 0.1m.

 

Must-haves

Max Verstappen is still a prime asset for your F1 Fantasy team but the Dutchman’s FP2 crash has changed the complexion of the weekend. Should his impact into the barriers result in a grid penalty, pole is out of the question but there is no doubting he can bounce back and climb back to a podium position in the race.

With Lando Norris still third in the championship at the halfway stage, it speaks volumes about how well the McLaren driver has been performing so far this season and his inclusion to your line-up is essential. He also still qualifies for your turbo driver chip making him even more valuable for your team.

A cheap option to consider could be F1’s newest race-winner, Esteban Ocon. The Frenchman put in a brilliantly composed performance to secure his maiden F1 win and at 10.1m, he’s easy on the budget. If you have slightly more to spend, the experience of team-mate Fernando Alonso might pay off around Spa should the rain arrive.

 

Ones to avoid

Valtteri Bottas will serve his punishment for causing the first corner crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend. The Finn has a five-place grid penalty meaning he will not be lining up in the top five come Sunday afternoon barring any further grid penalties. Spa hasn’t been the happiest of venues for Bottas, and a podium might be out of reach come Sunday.

As Pierre Gasly shows how strong AlphaTauri is going this weekend, team-mate Yuki Tsunoda can’t replicate the Frenchman’s pace so far and is unlikely to be a considerable threat on Sunday afternoon, especially if the heavens open. Tsunoda has admitted he was far too aggressive earlier in the season as he got to grips with his AT01 but the rookie is not a good value pick if you’re hoping for a differential pick in the midfield.

 

Belgian Grand Prix picks

Drivers:

Max Verstappen (25.7m)

Lando Norris (14.2m)

Fernando Alonso (15.0m)

Pierre Gasly (11.9m)

Esteban Ocon (10.1m)

Team:

Red Bull (26.5m)