It would be fairly difficult to argue that the Formula 1 season is not coming toward an “anticlimatic” end with Hamilton securing an early World Championship and then falling asleep (literally!) whilst Rosberg regains some end-of-season form that deserted him when it truly mattered.
I imagine many of this year’s Fantasy players have now parked up, ready to regroup in the off-season, but there should be a fair few of you that need to gain a few more precious points for league glory, getting one over that cocky mate or to save the embarrassment of finishing last amongst your peers. For the last time in 2015, here are a few more drivers and teams under focus ahead of the season-ending race:
Sergio Perez (£9m) – It would be difficult to argue that 2015 has represented the fiery Mexican’s finest year in F1 to date and there has been evidence of improvement throughout the season itself too. A recent podium in Russia has left him 16 points clear of his highly-rated colleague Nico Hulkenburg and this has been mirrored by a 35-point lead in the respective Fantasy hauls and a better value of 23.11 per million spent compared to 19.22 for the German. If Force India can take their form in the second-half of the campaign into next year then Perez may be one to watch!
Daniel Ricciardo (£17m) – It has been a case of second-season syndrome for the ever-smiling Aussie as the Red Bull engine has struggled to compete with the leading teams in 2015. However, the Honey Badger managed to accumulate 24 bonus points at Interlagos but his massive price tag of £17m has effectively ruined his Fantasy worth. All six drivers from Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams offer better value and his team-mate Kvyat is almost twice as efficient with at 24.55 compared to 13.82 points per million spent (as well as holding a championship lead too). 2016 is surrounded in uncertainty and we’ll have to wait to see if that smile is properly tested again next year!
Ferrari (£14m) – Ferrari have, for obvious reasons, featured highly this season following a far more competitive 2015 season. A relative bargain at £14m, the Scuderia have racked up 401 points ahead of this weekend’s finale, over double that of Red Bull (£6m more expensive) and almost 150 ahead of Williams (£3m). Interestingly, they may just end up the best value team in this season’s fantasy standings, trailing Mercedes by a minuscule 0.06 points per million spend. Ferrari will have to go some to match Mercedes on the track in 2016 though and it highly likely they’ll be the same price differential as well. Kimi may need waking up for the entire season next time out…
Other Tips – Hamilton strolled to victory in Abu Dhabi a year ago to clinch his second World Championship but won’t be as much of a favourite in this year’s race given the form of his German counterpart. Qualifying is likely to be all important again and it would be a surprise if we didn’t see a Mercedes-dominated race with Ferrari and Williams battling it out for the final podium spot. The Yas Marina circuit isn’t known for serving up thrilling races although the twilight racing can make it trickier than normal for the drivers.
Weather is almost certainty going to be dry so don’t expect any extra thrills here whilst the safety car statistics suggest there is a one in three chance of an interruption during the race. You can’t help but feel there is going to need to be some bold predictions in order to gain that crucial edge in the final furlong of the season.