Ben Briscoe is our resident Fantasy GP Pundit, bringing you tips and advice throughout the season, here are his pre-season tips

The new season is here! Well, nearly, as another off-season seemingly draws to a close in double-quick time and the teams get ready for a new battle. Fantasy GP is also back, developed and enhanced for the new season – same easy-to-play, difficult-to-master style. Ahead of the Melbourne opener, here are a few tips that I would heartily recommend to ensure that you are more like Mercedes than Sauber in 2018…

Tip 1 – Do your own research!

No-one can claim that there isn’t an element of luck when it comes to Fantasy sports but it is undeniable that, when push comes to shove, there are often some familiar faces at the top of any given league come the end of a long campaign. Consider your own mini-league tables and you will probably understand what I mean. You will certainly benefit from a solid start and therefore, rather than relying on distant memories of 2017, it would be a good idea to get your head around some of the excellent season previews. My first recommendation is an easy one, head over to our friends at BadgerGP.com and read the latest from the pre-season testing.

Tip 2 – Don’t forget those predictions!

You won’t be surprised to hear that the all-important prediction element is, err very important! If you want to be a champion, make sure you don’t miss any races as just one or two failures can often hit very hard, especially when a race goes to expected form and big points are scored. I always try and make it a habit to put in some “holder” predictions as soon as the results are released from the previous GP – I then go back late on Friday or early Saturday to tweak as necessary. Note that PRO players can quickly copy predictions from the previous race and also set predictions for the following 3 races in just one click.

Tip 3 – Have the courage of one’s convictions!

If 2018 gets off to a horrible start then you need to be brave and act sooner rather than later. If you’ve picked midfield outfit on some whim that they’ll be the surprise package, don’t wait till the likes of Alonso takes residence in his sixth deckchair before you change your line-up. In a similar manner, don’t get spooked by an unexpected early retirement or a poor first race day, re-consider why you chose that driver or team and think whether anything has truly changed since then. Don’t forget that you get unlimited team changes for the first two races and then a further six free changes after Bahrain – it is never too late to get back in the game. Note that if you Go PRO you get additional free changes, up to a total of 10.

Tip 4 – Little can go far!

Many players spend a considerable time agonising over where to spend the bulk of their budget – can you afford a Hamilton/Mercedes double, is Bottas the wiser choice, how do I get Verstappen involved, etc. However, some of the most important decisions can be around who you chose for your “cheap seats”. Which of the cheaper teams is likely to surprise us? Take a look at the form and make an educated guess. Following the first race you can see the points scored by each team and their respective value (points per million dollars, again you’ll need to be PRO for this)

Tip 5 – Go Pro!

If you haven’t figured out already, being a PRO player makes a big difference. For the price of a pint of beer you can upgrade your membership and get more free changes, a faster, advert-free game, access to stats, data and interactive charts as well as market values and financial trends plus lots more. Best of all, PRO players can win prizes for each race, including Grand Prix tickets or some featured races – play Fantasy GP and go to the real thing! It is a no-brainer if you want that extra push to be top of the pile. Also, it helps support the site and running costs. We are obviously grateful for every single player that signs up for the free game but, if you are happy and able to go that extra mile, then the team here would be very grateful and hopefully you’ll get a warm buzz and good vibes too.

And then for Melbourne…

Now it is time to switch our attention to Melbourne and some other tips that may be helpful to consider before the race weekend! Predictions are always difficult for the first weekend and I would recommend some close watching of the practice sessions before making your final decision. My gut feeling is that the gap has closed to Mercedes but they will still be the safest bet going into Melbourne, although an adventurous player may want to be bold with the podium predictions and hope for some early season gremlins alongside that upgraded Ferrari truly delivering.

Weather for Melbourne is displayed live here on Fantasy GP – keep a keen eye on that. Safety cars have been a prevalent feature in Melbourne, with 6 of the last 10 races being affected though you would need to go back to 2009 to see more than one on race day. 

Most importantly, enjoy the race and being part of this year’s Fantasy Grand Prix World Championship, you’ll enjoy Formula 1 even more now.