Formula 1 DFS Picks and United States Grand Prix Preview

Formula 1 DFS Picks and United States Grand Prix Preview

Aramco United States Grand Prix

Location: Austin, Texas
Course: Circuit of the Americas
Course Length: 5.51km
Laps: 56

United States Grand Prix Race Preview

Max Verstappen overcame treacherous conditions at Japan to win for the 12th time this season. A runner-up finish on track from Charles Leclerc initially kept Verstappen from wrapping up the driver's title, but a subsequent time penalty to Leclerc for leaving the track and gaining an advantage dropped him to third. That penalty gave Verstappen the points advantage he needed to secure his second title in as many seasons with four races still remaining. It has been a dominant season for Verstappen and his Red Bull Racing team with 12 wins so far and another two from Sergio Perez. The team overcame early season problems by developing their car faster than the rest of the paddock, enabling Verstappen to grow in dominance as the season progressed, and the now two-time world champion has already said he wants to win the rest of the season's races. With the constructor's title still undecided, he can be assured the team will be helping him to do so, too. Red Bull needs a margin of 147 points versus Ferrari following this week's race to capture that honor this weekend, which would be their first since 2013. They can assure themselves of that by putting either of their drivers into Victory Lane this Sunday.

Key Stats at Circuit of the Americas

  • Races: 9
  • Winners from pole: 5
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 9
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 9
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: 197.212 kph

Previous Circuit of the Americas Winners

2021 - Max Verstappen
2019 - Valtteri Bottas
2018 - Kimi Raikkonen
2017 - Lewis Hamilton
2016 - Lewis Hamilton
2015 - Lewis Hamilton
2014 - Lewis Hamilton
2013 - Sebastian Vettel
2012 - Lewis Hamilton

Circuit of the Americas has hosted Formula 1 since 2012. The 2020 race at the circuit was canceled due to the pandemic in 2020 but returned last season with Verstappen claiming his first win at the track after a close battle with Lewis Hamilton. The track features 20 turns, which were mostly modeled after some of the most recognizable corners from grand prix tracks across the world. Despite its many turns and long straights, the track has only produced winners starting first or second, though. Much of that has to do with the lack of passing under Formula 1 prior rules packages, but Hamilton and Mercedes have been dominant at the venue as well. Another victory from Verstappen this weekend would make him just the second driver to win back-to-back races at the track after Hamilton, who won four consecutively between 2014 and 2017. The forecast is expected to be sunny and clear, unlike the conditions last time out in Japan. With the constructor's championship still undecided, this could be the last opportunity for other teams to introduce new developments specific to the 2022 season. Mercedes, for one, will bring their latest upgrades this week aiming to achieve their goal of a victory before season's end. 

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS for the United States Grand Prix (Based on Standard $50k Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Max Verstappen - $12,800
Charles Leclerc - $11,200
Lewis Hamilton - $10,200

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Sergio Perez - $9,800
Carlos Sainz Jr. - $9,200
George Russell - $8,400

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Fernando Alonso - $7,800
Lando Norris - $7,200
Pierre Gasly - $5,600

DraftKings Constructor Values

Red Bull Racing - $12,300
Ferrari - $11,500
Mercedes - $10,300

Formula 1 DFS Picks for the United States Grand Prix

Team Captain - Sergio Perez - $14,700
Lando Norris - $7,200
Pierre Gasly - $5,600
Valtteri Bottas - $5,200
Kevin Magnussen - $4,800
Constructor - Red Bull Racing - $12,300

With the driver's title wrapped up, the next battle will be over who finishes second. Sergio Perez leads that fight by a single point heading into this weekend's race, and fantasy players can be assured he will have the support of Red Bull behind him. That shift in focus could help propel him into Victory Lane this week, or at least a podium finish. Lando Norris should also make a case for inclusion in fantasy rosters this week. He has been consistently scoring points and outpacing his teammate this year. He finished eighth at COTA last season, too. Another driver consistently getting the upper hand on his teammate this season has been Pierre Gasly. He is also a regular face among the top-10 finishers this season. His car's suspension forced an early retirement from last year's United States Grand Prix, but he should be expected to fare much better this time. Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas is a former COTA winner. He won the 2019 race at the track and finished sixth last season with Mercedes. He has lost a bit of pace in the second half of the season as other teams have closed the development gap but remains a top-10 contender most weeks. Additionally, home team Haas F1 should also bring their best this week. Kevin Magnussen tends to be the more rewarding choice among the teammates and has an average finish of 13.7. The Haas cars finished at the back of the race in this race last season, but they have taken a step forward in 2022 and are right in the midst of the midfield battle. Form a constructor's perspective, it still makes a lot of sense to go with Red Bull. That is likely to remain the case at least until the manufacturer's title is wrapped up in their favor as well.

Fantasy players looking to be a bit more risky than the selections above may want to consider Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes this week. Mercedes has the stated goal of winning at least one race in 2022, and they have been successful in coming to terms with their car as the season progressed. We anticipate them bringing their last major upgrade to the car this week, which could be a boost to Hamilton who won five of the nine races held at this track. Throughout the season Hamilton has proven his ability to gain speed with the car's upgrades, and fantasy players may want to gamble on him doing the same this week at a track that has been kind to him in the past.

Formula 1 Betting Picks for the United States Grand Prix (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)

Race Winner - Sergio Perez +850
Winning Constructor - Mercedes +500
Winning Margin - Over 10 seconds +200
Fastest Lap - Sergio Perez +650
Safety Car - No +150

Sergio Perez is offering a significantly greater return for winning this weekend's United States Grand Prix. He is fourth in the odds behind even Lewis Hamilton, which is a great value for someone looking to claim second in the championship standings. On the constructor's side, a good value may come from Mercedes. The team will be bringing its final upgrades this week, and they've shown significant improvement throughout this season as they've evolved their machine. With two great drivers behind the wheel, the team is gunning to win a race before the season ends, and Lewis Hamilton has been one of the best at this particular track. Those looking to make a play for the finishing margin should look at the over 10 second category. Circuit of the Americas typically produces a strategic race, which generally results in a larger finishing margin at the front of the field. For the same reasons Perez is a nice option for the race win, he should be considered for the fastest lap of the race, too. Every point in the tight battle between him and Leclerc will matter in the next four races, and fans can be assured he and the team will be fighting tooth and nail for everyone on offer. With Red Bull having the fastest car on the grid right now, Perez is a great choice there as well. Lastly, with plenty of runoff room and not many gravel traps, COTA could produce a rare safety-car-free race this week. The weather is expected to be nice, which should also encourage a clean race compared to Japan.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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