Fantasy GP pro, Ben Briscoe gives his latest tips away for free for the Belgian GP
Well, it seems F1 is back and I have to admit that the summer break did not appear to last as long as I expected. Maybe it was the feast of action that both the British and Hungarian GPs served up or maybe it was the return of “soccer” (yes, I am a fan of both) to my daily sporting life. In any case, I’m certain we are all glad it is back.
This fact also means that Fantasy GP returns too and it is time, at the halfway point, to have another perusal of your line-up and decide who stays and goes as we head down the hill and towards the long home straight. Here are a few “dark horses” that you may wish to consider (or steer well away from) as the season restarts:
Daniil Kvyat (£11m) – It has been a big step-up to the senior Red Bull team for the young, talented but sometimes wild Russian. However, his podium in Hungary not only illustrated an underlying ability but is a guide to somewhere that is finding his feet in the spotlight of a “premier” team. At £6m cheaper than his ever-smiling colleague Ricciardo, he potentially represents a possible bargain and his points haul of 119 is only one point fewer than the Aussie, representing value of 10.82 points per million spent (compared to a poultry 7.06). There are caveats though – not all tracks are Hungary and inherently suited to the Red Bull set-up and his qualifying performance leaves room for improvement.
Sergio Perez (£9m) – If you put a fiery Mexican in the seat of an F1 car then it’ll be hardly surprising when some inconsistent results come along. However, Perez is my personal tip to be a surprise package in the second-half of the season. His £9m price-tag may be off-putting to some and his value per million is lowly compared to some of the cheaper options. However, if you are looking to break the mould and catch-up with those ahead of you, Perez may be worth a punt. His 69 bonus points is amongst the highest is this season’s league and it’d be fair to say that Force India normally have a strong run of form at some stage during a season.
Lotus (£7m) – I’ve featured this team, and its respective drivers (or “drivers” depending which mess Pastor has been in that week) previously and I maintain they are the best bet to improve in the second-half of the campaign. Manor GP are merely a tactical choice whilst Sauber appear to be flagging as the season continues. Lotus have slightly outperformed the low-powered offering by Toro Rosso (35 points to 31) whilst the £5m saving over Force India make them a serious candidate for your car line-up. More reliability from the technology and drivers alike and they could be strong towards the end of 2015.
Other Tips – Belgium’s apparently drink, on average, 150 litres of beer each per year and the country produces the equivalent of 22kg of chocolate per head. Bernie, leave this GP firmly alone, you can’t not love Belgium! On a more F1-related note, the 2014 race brought about further tension in the Mercedes team following a second-lap clash between Hamilton and Rosberg which allowed Daniel Ricciardo to steal the glory and put Rosberg on the naughty step. As always, Mercedes will start as favourites but Ferrari and Williams may feel they can challenge, especially if the poor starts from the Mercedes pair continue.
Weather should be clear as there is currently no realistic prospect of rain until Monday though keep an eye on any developments prior to Saturday’s qualifying. No safety cars are assured with Spa boasting some reasonable run-offs but, at only 44 laps, it is a large circuit which takes some covering and carnage can never be discounted! For your predictions, you may wish to think outside the box, with only just over a third of pole sitters clinching the win in Belgium, the fourth-lowest figure in 2015.