Our Fantasy Grand Prix game is a very popular feature of Badger GP and has been running since 2008 and has steadily grown to have more than 2000 F1 fans playing every Grand Prix to become a Fantasy Grand Prix winner and Champion.  

Long-term playing and avid F1 fan, Simon Cevert is a huge fan of the game, regularly running his own mini-league with friends to contest for the their own trophy – he loves the game so much that he’s written an article for us on why he thinks you (yes, YOU!) should play our Fantasy F1 Grand Prix game this season…

Up until a few years ago, watching Formula One was a simple process in our household. We would turn on the television and cheer on our favourite drivers and teams. We would cry when they crashed or retired and celebrate when they did well or won. That was a few years ago.

That was before we discovered the delights of Fantasy Grand Prix.

Compare that to watching Formula One in our house today – Fantasy GP will split your loyalties, have you sweating on who finishes where and make you follow the race right through to the bottom of the grid. It will also induce friendly banter between friends and loved ones.

The premise of the game is simple and it’s irresistibly easy to play. Select three teams and three drivers using a pre-determined budget and gain points for positions finished and places made up as well as for predicting pole position, the podium places and fastest lap. The budget is cunningly set to stop you just choosing the three biggest teams and best drivers – you will have to look further down the grid to make some of your selections. You will find yourself following races in a new way – let me use the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from 2012 as an example of how the race panned out for me and my team.

The weekend got off to a bad start for me as Hamilton stormed to pole – I had predicted Vettel. I say ‘bad start’, this sums up Fantasy GP in some ways. As a Brit, I was delighted that Lewis was starting from pole position, but missing out on 25 points for the correct prediction split my emotions! As the race unfolded, my prediction of a Hamilton win went out of the window as his car ground to a halt, but as one of my chosen drivers, a Raikkonen win was even sweeter and I rested easy as he maintained his lead. This softened the blow as a Hamilton retirement also meant less points for McLaren, one of my teams. I had predicted Alonso to finish second and Button third. I was willing Button on to keep Vettel behind him which he managed for a considerable number of laps. I shouted at the TV when Vettel squeezed past with a few laps remaining – but had to remember that Red Bull are one of my chosen teams. I would have got more points though if they hadn’t switched positions.

Fantasy F1 Grand Prix
2013 Championship is NOW OPEN!

Perez had done me proud over the 2012 season, and scored me many points. Sadly, since his announcement as a McLaren driver for 2013, he appeared to lose his concentration somewhat!  Another scuffle in Abu Dhabi resulted in another non-score for the young Mexican. With Sauber as one of my chosen teams, this was a double blow.  As soon as that battle was over I was looking down the grid to monitor the progress of Glock.

Yes, exactly! Never before have I so eagerly kept tabs on the lower order. Marussia are unlikely to score constructors points but in Fantasy GP this isn’t the be-all and end-all. For three points per place made up over starting position for the drivers, I was keen to see how many cars he had picked off during the drama-filled race. Once again, Timo steadily made up some places as cars retired or flew off the race-track.

And now to check fastest lap – this has been hard to predict since the banning of refuelling in F1. It is likely that the fastest lap will be set in the last lap or two of a race, when the cars are at their lightest, but often depends on who is pushing for position, rather than who has the outright fastest car. The person leading is probably being screamed at by his engineer to ‘conserve’ the car, but someone scrapping in fourth or fifth could just as likely pop in a quick lap. Vettel is known to enjoy ‘collecting’ poles, wins, fastest laps – he is a statistics man! In Abu Dhabi he delivered – fastest lap, another for his collection. Another 25 points missed for me, as I predicted Webber to get it.

I hope this demonstrates the extra layer that Fantasy GP can add to a race weekend. By joining a friends league, you can monitor progress against others as well as playing in the main championship.  My friends league is always hotly contested and there is always some friendly e-mail banter post-race, especially amongst those who take it far too seriously!

True loyalties will never change – if you are a Ferrari fan you will always be a Ferrari fan. And if you have a favourite driver you will always want them to win. But if you do decide to try Fantasy GP, don’t be surprised if you find yourself shouting at the television, encouraging drivers to do well who you didn’t even like before!

It is free, absorbing and above all, entertaining. Enjoy!