We are now just days away from the first race weekend of the 2022 Formula 1 season and after watching the second of the two pre-season testing events, it really is anyone’s guess who will come out on top in Bahrain.
Mercedes were looking worryingly slower than Lewis Hamilton would have liked, with the seven-time World Champion speaking in a press conference after saying he hoped his team had something they were holding back.
Ferrari on the other hand were looking exceptionally strong with Red Bull not far behind and McLaren’s efforts indicate they have no intentions of returning back down to the midfield.
With the new regulations, both on and off the track, this Formula 1 season is set to be one of the most exciting in the sport’s history.
It’s hard to imagine that any season could top the controversies and complications that were seen last year, but the new regulations on the track will hopefully show closer racing with fiercer competition between the higher and lower ranked teams.
Reigning champion Max Verstappen will be desperate to secure a second title in as many years while Lewis Hamilton will be fighting to get his eighth Championship and break even more records within the sport.
While the drivers fight it out on the track, fans will once again be able to get involved with their own Championship, as Fantasy F1 will consume the minds of racing addicts once again.
With only a couple of days before those teams need to be locked in, here is all you need to know about the Fantasy Formula 1 League…
What is Fantasy Formula 1?
Similar to Fantasy Football, Fantasy F1 allows fans to create leagues of their own with friends, family or other F1 devotees around the world, and pick the best drivers or constructor for that weekend and earn as many points as they can to win the Fantasy F1 Championship.
How does Fantasy F1 work?
First up is to pick your team. Players can pick five drivers and one constructor all within a budget of $100 million.
Hamilton and Verstappen are the most expensive drivers on the field with the likes of Nicholas Latifi or Mick Schumacher being two of the cheaper options.
Similarly, Red Bull or Mercedes will be the most expensive constructor options with Haas and Williams coming in last.
Fans can then pick a ‘turbo’ driver every race week who will earn double the points they score - players are unable to pick Verstappen or Hamilton for this booster option.
A ‘mega driver’ can be chosen just twice in the season, where the player will earn triple the number of points their driver has scored.
This booster would do well to be used later in the season when fans have a better idea of who is racing well and which cars are coming in fastest with the new regulations.
Players can then make three substitutions for free each race week.
Go to the Fantasy Formula 1 Website to set up your team now.
Who to pick for Race week 1: Bahrain
Mercedes and Red Bull have become exceptionally expensive. If you go for one of these options, there will be very little chance of you being able to secure one of their drivers as well.
Based on what was seen in pre-season testing, Ferrari or McLaren would be a solid choice for the first week.
While these two are still expensive options, they are not anywhere near what Mercedes and Red Bull would be, and Ferrari may even be the faster car in Bahrain given what they produced last weekend.
Haas is unsurprisingly one of the cheaper options and if fans are hoping to secure the top drivers then this would be a good, if brave, option for the constructor.
They are low in price but were quick in pre-season. Maybe 2022 is the season for Guenther Steiner and his squad…
One would be foolish to not go for either Hamilton or Verstappen. Budget would not allow for both, obviously.
However, one option would be to pick Verstappen with George Russell, or Hamilton alongside Sergio Perez.
If fans do go for this, then Valterri Bottas would be a solid choice for a cheaper option to fill in those five seats.
Driving for Alfa Romeo this season, there will be no doubt that the former Mercedes driver will give it everything he can and do any player who chooses him proud.
Once again Kevin Magnussen or Mick Schumacher would be other good lower order options.
While Magnussen is most probably the better driver, he came in to testing so late that Schumacher will know the car better and is therefore arguably the safer option of the two.
When is the first F1 race of the season?
The Bahrain race weekend kicks off this Friday, 18 March 2022 and the race will take place on Sunday 20 March 2022 and is available to follow on Sky Sports F1.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.