Playing a Fantasy F1 game is great fun, but we would say that. However, we also recognise that it’s tricky to pick your drivers and cars, especially before the season has begun! So, in order to give you the best possible chance, here’s our guide to get your team setup for Melbourne, including a run down of how to pick your drivers, team and make those all-important predictions. Some of this you may find useful, some You make ignore at your peril (or good judgment), but we do hope it helps.

Firstly – do you go with your heart or your head? Heart can be more fun, and enjoyable, especially if it results go your way, but more often that not – in order to beat your friends, you need to think with your head. No matter how much you want Nico Hulkenberg to win the first race of the season, it’s unlikely to happen (that said, F1 is nearly IF backwards, so never say never).

Drivers

You should go for Lewis, Sebastian and Max right? Maybe. They are all great drivers, but they all have hefty price tags, so choose wisely. The more you spend on drivers, the less you have for cars.

Big name drivers don’t always bring home the big points. Midfield and “backmarkers” can bring huge points if they start well down the grid but finish a few places up, with 3 bonus points for each position made. Remember, they don’t have to even pass their rivals to achieve this, as they can benefit from collisions and reliability issues.

That said, a few seasons ago, Maldonado wasn’t a good choice because he often didn’t finish and for that there are no points.

Do check the overall stats from 2017 with the complete Driver Data from last season.

Cars

The 2 key differences with selecting your Fantasy GP constructors are below, have a think before you make your choices and consider the following:

1) There are two of each car. Obvious, yes, but that means you have two chances of scoring points with the cars you choose. Mercedes and Ferrari may dominate the podium, which means massive points, but that’s a lot of your budget on just two of your six selections. A better choice may be a midfield team, such as Renault or Force India, to pair with a big gun, meaning you free up some of that limited budget to invest elsewhere.

2) Cars only get race points (for finishing P1-P10), so no bonus points to be seen here. Therefore, only choose back of the grid teams if you’re confident they’ll get points or if you are saving money to spend on big name drivers. Sauber may be at the back, and unlikely to score points, but they may give you the flexibility to get another top tier driver. It is a high-risk strategy, but can yield a lot of points over the season.

Overall it’s all about the value – points per million spent, see the data from the 2017 season and you’ll learn more about what we mean here. Last year, Mercedes was an essential car to have.

And a final note – with the fluctuating prices for cars, the price may go up or down following Melbourne. So review the current pricing, and if you think that a car may go up in value after the first race, it may well be worth bagging them now and reaping in the financial rewards.

Predictions

Now, you’ve gone through the trauma of spending your $75million Fantasy GP dollars, well done. But don’t forget the all-important predictions. This is where you can gain the additional points that will matter come the end of the Sunday’s racing.

As always, there are different ways to play it. You could, for example, put Lewis Hamilton down for everything because he’s bound to finish on the podium somewhere, get pole, fastest or all three, right? Wrong. Yes there’s a good chance you’ll get some points, but then if he crashes out on lap 1, you’re left with nothing. So it’s better to spread your bets.

Studying form in practice sessions is a good basis for predictions, as well as reading the news ahead of qualifying to see what’s going on. A big tip is to see whether any penalties will be incurred on race day for engine changes, etc. – having Vettel for the race win, when he is starting 20th, is a bit foolish. Then look back at history too, especially with Safety Cars – there are trends there.

For the podium, it’s best to put 3 different drivers down, even if only 1 of them finishes on the podium. If you’ve pciked the right driver there, even in the wrong place, you’ll still get half points (5pts) for that.

Check the weather too – we include it on every page of Fantasy GP for a reason – it affects a race weekend, especially the chance of a Safety Car period.

The best advice we can give you is to at least put something down for your predictions – and if you’re a PRO player you can copy your predictions for the next 3 races so you at least have a backup should you forget to change them later.

Go PRO for even more

For just £5 for the season you can become a Fantasy GP PRO player, get access to stats and interactive charts, lose adverts and have a faster game too. You’ll also have extra bonus features and 20 free team changes instead of just 8. And you can win prizes including Grand Prix tickets. Find out more and Go PRO here.

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Image via OctanePhotos.co.uk