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How to Play DraftKings F1 DFS: Formula 1 Fantasy Racing Advice & How To Win Tournaments

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How to play DraftKings F1 DFS and the best Formula One Fantasy Racing Strategy Guide 2022

It was announced not long ago that DraftKings would be introducing a new DFS sport to its contest offerings — Formula 1 Fantasy Racing. The DraftKings F1 DFS scoring is going to be a brand-new animal for anyone looking to drive to survive.

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Whether you have spent some of your down time finding new shows to watch on Netflix or trying to find new sports to follow, one thing that’s for sure is that Formula 1 popularity is on its way up after Netflix’s successful Drive to Survive documentary on the F1 teams across the world. DraftKings F1 Fantasy contests will be starting Sunday, March 20, 2022.

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DraftKings F1 DFS: How to Play Formula 1 Fantasy Racing

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Formula 1 racing is a different beast. It is an ever-changing puzzle each week, seeing what style of course they are racing, checking course history, to how cars are running and what changes teams have made in setups during the free practice sessions. This How to Play NASCAR DFS article written by Awesemo writer Phillip Bennetzen delivers a more in-depth look at the ever-changing puzzle.

In 2021, the F1 world had a new world champion: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. He was able to dethrone seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who had won four straight driver championships.

Mercedes has won eight consecutive Constructors Championships dating back to 2014. Prior to the 2021 season, only Ferrari was able to get within 100 points of the world champions in 2018. In 2021 the Red Bull team was able to win more races than Mercedes and finish just 28 points behind for the Constructors trophy.

Mercedes looked to be pulling well away from their competition in the late 2010s, but regulations have been put in place to try to even out the playing field. These regulations have already started to take place over the winter break and fans should expect tighter racing from a wider range of teams this year, not just the standard Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari teams.

You may be thinking, OK great, but how does that help me in Formula 1 Fantasy? While the less-than-casual fan will look at previous standings and just think that Mercedes will run away with another trophy this year, teams like HAAS, Alfa Romeo, Williams and Aston Martin were all given extra time this offseason to work on their car and make improvements, which have already been seen in early spring testing.

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With new regulations and spending caps being put on teams, this year should be the tightest racing we have seen in many years.

DraftKings F1 DFS Roster Construction & Scoring Details

While many DFS fans may have tried NASCAR, the scoring for F1 Fantasy is drastically different. For starters, the lineup is a mix of Showdown style with a twist. Your roster will be comprised of a Captain spot, which will earn you 1.5x the points but will cost you 1.5x the price. Then rest of your F1 DFS roster will be filled with four more drivers and one Constructor.

The Constructor is the team that races the two drivers. There are only 10 Constructor teams as each team has two drivers on the grid. Your Constructor choice can make or break your whole day. While you are not able to roster both drivers and the Constructor team, i.e., rostering Hamilton, George Russell, and the Mercedes Constructor, you can choose to roster two of the three above selections.

There is a criteria when looking at your drivers. Can your high-end drivers win? What is their starting position after qualifying? Will they finish inside the top 10 so they get points? And will they beat their teammate?

All of these questions should guide your builds, with the last question being massive for the value pieces in your lineups. Sure, everyone would love to be able to lock in Hamilton, Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and the Mercedes Constructors team and then go from there, but doing so will leave you picking from the bottom of the barrel.

The Formula 1 weekend is unlike any other. There is free practice session 1 earlier on Friday, then three hours later the free practice session 2 takes place. This is where teams will test out their car setups and make sure they are ready for Saturday’s qualifying.

On Saturday, there is a third free practice session to iron out all the final specs on the car, and finally we have the qualifying, which starts exactly 24 hours before the scheduled race time on the next day to give similar racing conditions. The qualifying is also a thing of beauty. It is set up in three stages eliminating the slowest five drivers each stage until the final 10 drivers fight for the front of the grid.

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Because DraftKings pricing comes out well in advance of the Qualifying, taking advantage of qualifying results will be massive for your DFS builds. It is quite simple, but starting near the top of the grid, more specifically the front-row, gives a driver a much better chance at winning.

Setting your lineup Thursday and forgetting about it will only set you up for disaster. The main news you need will come out Saturday after the qualifying is done, so try and go back to tinker on Saturday evening or Sunday morning before the race is a clear strategy.

F1 Fantasy Track Types

There are three types of tracks you will see in F1 DFS – there are the “proper” circuit racetracks which were designed for racing like Silverstone in England or Monza is Italy. The street courses such as Monaco and Singapore are run on public roads. While the third is a hybrid mix of circuit track and street racing such as Abu Dhabi.

Each track has their own special features. Taking the track, or track type, into account means you understand:

  • The likelihood of drivers to wreck/or to make it 90% of the race for the bonus
  • Potential to be lapped if running near the back
  • How hard or easy it is for drivers to pass or be passed
  • How many lead changes to anticipate
  • Drivers you’d expect to lead at least 10% or more of the race
  • Noting that some drivers and cars run better at specific tracks as opposed to others

How to Win at F1 Fantasy Racing

As we do with every DFS sport, we soak up the information and then make our lineups based on various factors.

The key factors that will come in handy are:

  • Course/track variables
  • Practice results for lap times
  • Grid (starting) position on race day
  • Constructor team strategy to stack with your top driver or for exposure to the team
  • Ownership and where to pivot

Being able to have a good mix of the above criteria will allow you to build strong lineups that have GPP winning upside.

While you might be used to seeing 350+ scoring in NBA, or 175+ for NFL, DraftKings F1 Fantasy Racing scoring is much lower than your average sport.

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If you were to look at the previous year’s scoring using the DraftKings point system, the top drivers were Verstappen, who averaged 27.9 points, and Hamilton, who averaged 24.7 points per race. Meanwhile, over half of the drivers averaged less than 10 points per race, with many averaging less than 5 points per race.

On the Constructors side of the scoring, the Mercedes team averaged 36.2 points per race while the Red Bull racing team averaged 36. Once again, half of the teams averaged less than 11 points per race, which is a massive difference.

Verstappen’s ceiling performance came with a 41.1-point race at the Grosser Preis von Osterreich GP, while Hamilton didn’t have a race over 37 points all season.

The Red Bull team was able to produce six races of over 50 points, while the Mercedes team also had six races over 50 points. For comparison, there were only 14 total times where a Constructor scored over 50 points, the 12 previously mentioned and one 60.9-point performance by McLaren and one 50.6-point performance by the Alpine team.

Picking a top Constructor team who can have two potential drivers on the podium is vital to winning in GPPs.

While there may only be 20 cars on the grid, you rarely see a Grand Prix winner come from outside of the first two rows. In 22 races in 2021, 16 of the GP winners started on the front row (1-2), three came from the second row (3-4), one came from the third row (5-6), one from the fourth row (7-8) and Hamilton won the Brazil GP after starting from the 10th spot on the grid.

Starting on the front row is crucial for a driver’s success and ceiling projections.

Hopefully you were able to soak up some of the F1 Fantasy information and have a better feel for what to expect come when DraftKings F1 DFS contests go live.


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Teacher, writer and avid sports fan with a passion and love for F1 racing.

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