Low scores, average excitement, Austria wasn’t the greatest fare for the F1 fan although some lucky participants had the opportunity to make some solid gains in the Fantasy League by steering away from Hamilton and tipping Rosberg for eventual glory at the Red Bull Ring. F1 comes back to Silverstone this weekend and hopefully the famous old venue and the British weather can come into play for a classic race. To consolidate your gains or to claw back an advantage this weekend, here is my usual round-up of a few of the runners and riders for this time around:
Felipe Massa – (£13m) – It hasn’t been a glamorous year for the veteran Brazilian but he has gone about his work quietly and effectively. Massa sits just 5 points behind his more-acclaimed (and scary!) team-mate Bottas in the standings and in a year where his team have struggling to repeat last year’s significant gains. If you are looking from a fantasy perspective, the picture looks even rosier with Massa picking up 9.92 points per million spent this season, again an improvement over his Williams colleague. At £13m, Massa might be worth a second look as we enter into the second-half of 2015.
Kimi Raikkonen – (£15m) – At no stage would you describe the outwardly sombre Finn of having a vintage F1 season as he struggles (again) to live up to his undeniable talent or live with a seemingly far more dedicated team-mate. However, only a few races ago, it was clear that Kimi was the fantasy player’s dream with his volatile qualifying performances often leading to a plethora of bonus points. However, this gravy train has started to stumble (or crash) to a halt recently with Vettel proving the better value driver in the red of Ferrari, even at a cost of £3m more. Raikkonen’s 7.73 points (per million) is behind Massa and comparable with Bottas and, given the strides Ferrari have taken, it doesn’t surprise you that rumours are mounting about his exit from the Scuderia at the end of the year.
Mercedes – (£23m) – Money will inevitably buy you points in the world of Fantasy F1 and there is no-more of a testament to that than the Mercedes outfit. By value, they only just pip Ferrari at 14.26 points (per million) but that is only half the story. Hamilton and Rosberg have helped the outfit accumulate 328 points, 136 points more than any other team. It is difficult to envisage a Badger winner that doesn’t have the German-team in the spine of their line-up and, whilst it may not help make for the most exciting spectacle, points are points this game!
Other Tips – Hamilton took the glory this time last year and many would expect him to bounce back from his personal disappointment at the Red Bull Ring. However, Rosberg will be equally keen to capitalise on his form to reduce the deficient in the championship to single-digits (or even better) and he’ll be hoping that the gearbox gremlins of last year do not repeat themselves again! Expect the Mercedes to be dominant again, barring problems, whilst Ferrari and Williams battle it out behind. McLaren are unlikely to add (sic) to their record as the most successful team in this GP but my personal tip is for Lotus to do well at Silverstone this time out.
Weather is always unpredictable as most reading this will know but, interestingly, Sunday is meant to mark a change in our mini-heatwave and a spot of rain could completely wreck the normal order of running. Infamously, last year’s race was significantly delayed after Raikkonen’s hefty smash into the barriers (a bit of déjà vu there!) and the race restarted behind a safety car – don’t discount the re-appearance of this safety car in your predictions for this high-speed circuit. Finally, you should note that a British driver has won more than a third of British GPs and 10,000 litres of tomato sauce will be used across the weekend – I know which fact I drew more from, thanks to the BBC for that!