RACE DEBRIEF

    Imola hosts the next round of the 2021 Championship and F1 fans everywhere will be hoping another battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen awaits. But before the action begins on track, it’s time for some F1 Fantasy tips, and to find out which drivers were in the best team from the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    A cracking start to the season in Bahrain gives way to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the historic Imola circuit that has seen the likes of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost do battle, with Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher sparring in a scintillating 2005 San Marino Grand Prix. Alonso of course is back racing in F1 again after two years away, but should you pick him for your Fantasy team this week? Let's have a look...

    Change your F1 Fantasy team or sign up here

    Who should you buy ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix?

    The general consensus after the season-opener is that Red Bull have the fastest car - just. While Max Verstappen didn’t win in Bahrain, he did take a superb pole on merit by almost four tenths of a second and he is still the second-most popular driver in F1 Fantasy.

    Lewis Hamilton, however, is joint-favourite for the race this weekend after jumping Verstappen to win last time out. Given how tight it is, it might be best to wait until FP3 to finalise your team, once we have an idea of who looks quick around this track.

    Given Verstappen and Hamilton look so closely matched, one strategy is to pick the opposing constructor to your driver, therefore hedging your bets. For example, if you have Hamilton, buy Red Bull ($26.0m); if you picked Verstappen, buy Mercedes ($37.8m) - if you can afford them.

    GOOD LAP vs GREAT LAP: Ride onboard with Pierre Gasly to see how to nail a lap of Imola

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    The big question before Imola: Hamilton or Verstappen?

    McLaren’s Lando Norris is cuurently the most popular driver in the game, with 54% of teams including him, and while his price increased after Bahrain, he still costs just $13.4m ahead of Imola. With a quick car underneath him, Norris looks like a safe bet if you want to score consistently this season.

    AlphaTauri are another team to watch and Pierre Gasly was unlucky to miss out on points in Bahrain. Back Gasly ($11.7m) going forward as the Honda-powered squad should be big players in the midfield battle this season. You could opt for Gasly's team mate Yuki Tsunoda ($9.3m) as he finished a solid ninth last time out, and shows great potential already.

    READ MORE: Confident Tsunoda looking to capitalise on Imola testing experience after hype-filled debut

    With Alfa Romeo looking quicker than they did last year, Kimi Raikkonen ($9.5m) or Antonio Giovinazzi are decent drivers to include in your team, while Williams' George Russell ($6.2m) is an ever-reliable source of points as he generally out-performs his team mate Nicholas Latifi and sometimes makes it to Q2, as well.

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    Gasly made contact with Ricciardo at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix but looked competitive on Saturday, qualifying P5

    Team of the Week from the Bahrain GP

    Team of the Week in Bahrain included race winner Lewis Hamilton and the top player in the F1 Fantasy Global League also put a Mega Driver powerup on the seven-time champion, thus scoring 135 points.

    Lando Norris, who finished fourth in Bahrain, had his score doubled thanks to the Mega Driver powerup and he brought in 58 points, with rookie Yuki Tsunoda scored 16 points in P9, Kimi Raikkonen got 12 points having gained three positions and Mick Schumacher picked up a useful 11 points having beaten his team mate and gained two positions.

    READ MORE: ‘A lot more performance to unlock’ says Ricciardo, as he revels in quick progress with McLaren

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    Team of the Week from Bahrain included Lewis Hamilton as Mega Driver and Lando Norris as Turbo Driver

    That player’s constructors were Red Bull, who raked in 53 points thanks to Max Verstappen’s pole position and P2 finish, plus Sergio Perez’s brilliant rise to P5 from the pit lane.

    The average score from Bahrain was around 150 points – but don't panic if you fell short; there are 22 races left in this massive season!

    Change your F1 Fantasy team or sign up here – and remember: you must makes your changes before qualifying starts on Saturday...