Fantasy GP is easy to play, but tricky to win, especially when there are 1000s of players, but to make things a little easier and to give you a greater insight into the game, how it works and the different strategies you can employ, we’ve put together this extensive guide.
With the guide you can learn about different ways of spending your Fantasy GP team budget, what makes a good team and more… there’s no secret formula, but this guide should help you make a more informed and confident decision.
It’s not all over in the first race if you don’t win either – the first two rounds are practice rounds (read more below) and there will be spot-prizes throughout the season for race victories as well as the Badger GP Trophy Mug and the championship prize of a Silverstone experience (see the 2010 champ here)
Eggs in Baskets
Strategy is very important, however, in Fantasy GP it’s not your pit stop and tyre strategy you need to worry about, it’s your driver and car selections.
Of course, to score maximum points you want to have the winning cars and winning drivers along with drivers that start lower down the grid, but finish the race further up the order (to get the valuable improvement points).
In terms of eggs in baskets, it’s a decision you need to make whether to have Red Bull as one of your cars and then either (or both) Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. By having all your eggs in one basket – i.e. having Red Bull as a car and one or both of their drivers, you’ll score loads of points if they come home first or on the podium – points for both the cars and the drivers. The downside to this is that if Seb and Mark take each other out, a la Turkey 2010, all your expensive purchases will be pointless (literally)
A safer way of playing is to effectively spread your bets – if you have Red Bull as one of your cars and then Hamilton as your star driver, you stand a better chance of getting at least some points, even if the Red Bull drivers don’t finish – Hamilton has a good chance of being victorious or being on the podium – i.e. you’re safe. The downside of this strategy is that you’re limiting your maximum points.
Will you play safe or go for broke and put all your eggs in one basket? It’s your call!
It’s vital that you make some predictions before a race – they need to be submitted at least one hour before qualifying. A correct prediction – whether it be getting 1st, 2nd, 3rd, the pole or fastest lap correct is worth a massive 25points. Get a clean sweep and you’ll not only get 25pts for each correct prediction, but also a bonus of 50pts.
As with team selection, there’s strategy to your predictions – you could choose Sebasitan Vettel for all of your predictions, to give yourself a chance of getting one correct one and securing 25pts or more – or you could choose different drivers for each position and if you get them all correct, that’s even more points. The latter is playing risky, the former is playing safe – which will you choose?
Head or your heart?
This is common point people raise when choosing their team and predictions – do you go with your heart and select the drivers you want to win and fill the podium or do you select them based on form?
Playing with your head, using stats and recent performance/pace will generate a greater chance of scoring points, but then again if you’re a Kovalainen fan and put him down as your prediction for 3rd in the race, imagine how pleased you’ll be if he does, not only for him having a (incredibly) great result, but also for those extra points in your championship campaign!
Leader of Follower?
From the second grand prix of the season onwards, the current Fantasy GP trends and stats will be published prior to the weekend, which will allow you see who the majority of players are backing in their team and predictions – of course we don’t let you know what the winning player had, but these stats allow you to see the popular drivers and cars.
How you use this information is again up to you – you can follow the trend, or go against it. If you follow the way of the masses, you could be more likely to score points – multiple heads are better than one as they say, but doing this means that if the result is how the trends predict, you may score loads of points, but so will everyone else.
The alternative is to use this data and play against it. If 80% of players are backing Vettel over Webber and you back Webber, if he goes on to do the business then you’ll score great points and relatively a lot more than the majority of the Vettel-backing competition.
Look out for these stats and trends following the Australian GP.
All teams in Fantasy GP have a maximum budget of £70 million. This is in place to stop you just choosing 3 top cars and 3 top drivers and introduces a further element of tactics and strategy.
You could go all out and choose a combination of either two top teams and one top driver or vice versa, using 80% of your budget and then use the remaining few million to get what you can to complete your team.
The other option you have is to have one top car or one top driver and then have more cash to play with to compile a stronger team of mid-field drivers and cars – a greater possibility of regular points, but sacrificing the glory of having a guaranteed race victory. The plus-side of this is that it’s points that mean prizes and you may be able to have a team of regular points finishing cars and drivers, rather than having no choice, but to have Narain Karthikeyan and the Hispania cars in your team.
Runners or Riders?
Another common question is “is it best to have top cars or top drivers?” – and it’s a good one. There’s no set answer really, of course having Red Bull and Ferrari in your team means you’ve got four chances (2 Red Bulls and 2 Ferraris) of scoring points and to many that’s the way to go.
The other option of having top drivers, or rather just weighting your selection to having good drivers means that you’ll do well for ‘improvement’ points. Only drivers can score improvement points and in 2011, FantasyGP rewards a massive 3 points per position improved. If you have Lewis Hamilton in your team and he starts 20th after a problematic qualifying, but goes on to win then you’ll get a massive 82points (25 for the win and then 19×3 = 57). If you didn’t have Lewis but had McLaren, you’d only get the 25 points for the win.
To extend this scenario further and highlight the benefit of weighting your team in the cars side, having McLaren could mean 25 points for Lewis’ win and then another 18 points if Jenson were to finish 2nd. So weighting your team on the cars side can pay off too.
You can of course balance your team by having a mixture of top, midfield and back of the grid cars and drivers to spread your bets. Again, it’s up to you – how will you weight your team?
A very easy way to ‘win’ a grand prix in Fantasy GP is to setup your own ‘friends league’ and have your friends, family or colleagues join it to play against each other. You’ll still be in the main Badger GP World Championship, but playing against a handful of people rather than thousands greatly enhances your chance of winning, you could also chip in together for a prize to make it interesting! Just to reiterate, in order to win a Badger GP Trophy mug, you have to win a race in the main Badger GP World Championship, not in your friends league of 7 or so players!
Practice Makes Perfect
The first two rounds of Fantasy GP are classed as practice rounds, which means that although points will be awarded, the totals will be reset before China, when the World Championship starts proper.
This is to give you two races to get used to the points scoring system, making your predictions and, most importantly for trying out different tactics and strategy. Come the third race of the season, you should have worked out who you do and don’t want in your team and have a better idea of who to predict for each position.