RACE DEBRIEF

    Three Grands Prix down in 2019, and the F1 Fantasy powers-that-be have adjusted the driver and constructor prices for the first time this year, based on the performances we’ve seen in the opening races. So whose stock is soaring on a wave of success – and who’s been downgraded as a risky asset? Check out the most dramatic price changes below.

    BIGGEST RISERS

    1. Alexander Albon

    Pre-season price: $6.0 million
    Post-China price: $6.7 million
    Percentage change: +11.7%

    Considering Alexander Albon hadn’t driven a lap in a Formula 1 car before the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona this year, pricing him at $6.0 million was fair, and maybe even a touch generous (especially given that his team mate Daniil Kvyat, with almost four full F1 seasons of experience, began the year at $5.5 million). But his impressive performances so far – finishes in all three races, and points in the last two – mean the Thai driver has climbed up by 11.7% from his starting price.

    Check out the full F1 Fantasy driver and constructor price list here

    2019 Chinese GP
    Albon's price tag has soared by 11.7%

    2. Lando Norris

    Pre-season price: $6.9 million
    Post-China price: $7.4 million
    Percentage change: +7.3%

    Like Alex Albon, Lando Norris has also enjoyed a strong start to his debut F1 year, netting a sixth place finish in Bahrain in only his second Grand Prix – it took wunder-rookie Charles Leclerc four races to achieve the same feat last year! – while Norris is a respectable eighth in the drivers’ standings after the Chinese Grand Prix weekend. That race was a bit of a disaster, but Norris’ stock has nonetheless risen to a heady $7.4 million.

    READ MORE: 2018 F1 Fantasy winner Jochem Boender shares his 5 key tips for success

    3. George Russell

    Pre-season price: $6.0 million
    Post-China price: $6.3 million
    Percentage change: +5.0%

    Number three on our list is another rookie. And while George Russell’s performances have been hard to spot this year, such is Williams’ unfortunate pace deficit, the British driver has quietly been doing a stellar job, having finished ahead of his experienced team mate Robert Kubica at every race so far in 2019. A $300,000 leap to $6.3 million is his reward.

    Biggest riser – Constructor

    Toro Rosso

    Pre-season price: $6.2 million
    Post-China price: $6.5 million
    Percentage change: +4.8%

    With Toro Rosso having demonstrated some eye-catching race pace in 2019 – most notably during Albon’s climb to 10th from his pit lane start in Shanghai – so too has the Italian team’s price hardened, rising up to $6.5 million. That still makes them the second cheapest constructor though (after Williams), and a potentially savvy shout if you’ve stuffed your F1 Fantasy squad with pricey drivers.

    2019 Chinese GP
    George Russell is now worth a cool $6.3 million

    BIGGEST FALLERS

    1. Carlos Sainz

    Pre-season price: $7.7 million
    Post-China price: $6.8 million
    Percentage change: -11.7%

    Carlos Sainz’s difficult start to 2019 – which has had very little to do with the Spaniard’s actual efforts behind the wheel of his McLaren – has seen him suffer the embarrassment of falling below his rookie team mate’s price tag, dropping from $7.7 million to a lowly $6.8 million. The good news for F1 Fantasy players, however, is that that makes the Spaniard – who’s surely had the majority of his season’s bad luck already this year – a potentially big-scoring bargain for your team.

    2. Romain Grosjean

    Pre-season price: $9.3 million
    Post-China price: $8.7 million
    Percentage change: -6.5%

    As in 2018, Romain Grosjean has failed to score in the opening three races of the season (well, he didn’t score in the first eight last year, so let’s hope he doesn’t repeat that). With Haas still scratching their heads about how their VF-19 uses its tyres, and Grosjean’s price having dropped by 6.5%, these are worrying times for those who plumped for the Frenchman based on his strong pre-season testing pace…

    2019 Chinese GP
    Romain Grosjean, presumably shown here receiving the news of his F1 Fantasy price drop

    3. Pierre Gasly

    Pre-season price: $17.5 million
    Post-China price: $17.0 million
    Percentage change: -2.9%

    While his team mate Max Verstappen has yet to finish out of the top four this season, Pierre Gasly has yet to finish in it, and only managed his first top-six result for his new team at the last round in China. Gasly’s struggles to get comfortable in the 2019-spec Red Bull have seen his F1 Fantasy price drop down to $17.0 million. However, given the likelihood of Gasly being able to finish in at least the top six – as he did in Shanghai – and be your Turbo Driver, he remains a popular, and now even more competitively-priced pick, while he should get better as his and the RB15’s relationship deepens.

    Biggest faller – Constructor

    Red Bull

    Pre-season price: $25 million
    Post-China price: $24.7 million
    Percentage change: -1.2%

    While Red Bull’s opening gambit of 2019 has hardly been a disaster, it has only yielded one podium thus far – Max Verstappen’s third place in Australia – which explains their slight drop to $24.7 million. They’ll be hoping to use an upgraded Honda internal combustion engine that arrives in time for Azerbaijan to claw back some of that price drop as the season goes on.

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