Formula 1 is back in Asia for the third race of the 2019 season, the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend.
Once again, there are plenty of questions that need answers at the start of what is the sport’s 1000th world championship race, almost 69 years after the first.
Even though Lewis Hamilton led another Mercedes 1-2 last time out in Bahrain, it is Ferrari that appears to have the faster, albeit more fragile, car.
Charles Leclerc had dominated proceedings in the desert, claiming pole and pulling out a 12-second lead in the race, but would have his first win snatched away by an engine problem with 10 laps to go.
There’s still the unknown quantity of Red Bull, who can’t be ruled out, and that’s before delving into the unpredictable chaos of the midfield.
Don’t worry though, that hasn’t stopped us from coming up with our picks for your daily fantasy teams this weekend in Shanghai.
About the race
A mainstay on the calendar since 2004, the Chinese GP has witness plenty of drama and notable winners down the years.
Initially taking place towards the end of the year, the first of those came in 2006 when Michael Schumacher took his final victory in F1 for Ferrari.
The following year’s race would have great championship implications, as Lewis Hamilton slid into a gravel trap entering the pit-lane while leading. Unable to escape, he would retire, allowing Kimi Raikkonen to win before the Finn went on to take the title in Brazil.
From 2009 onwards, the race was moved to the early rounds and that year would see Sebastian Vettel score Red Bull’s first win in F1. Much like his Monza 2008 triumph with Toro Rosso, it came in terrible conditions and rain has often been a factor at the Chinese GP.
Jenson Button famously won another wet/dry race in 2010 for McLaren, although that does remain the last race to have been rain-affected.
2012 would see the start of Mercedes becoming the dominant force in Shanghai, as Nico Rosberg took his first F1 win and the company’s first since returning as a works team in 2010.
Since then, only Fernando Alonso in 2013 and Daniel Ricciardo last year have beaten the Silver Arrows.
As for the circuit, it features a unique layout with two very long radius right-handers at Turns 1-2 and Turn 13. The mid-section also sees a sweeping section of corners which makes the track very hard on the tyres. Once the technical challenge is complete, the final stretch includes the second-longest straight on the calendar at over 1km into a very tight hairpin at Turn 14.
Unsurprisingly plenty of action has taken place here in the past and plenty more overtaking will happen this year too.
But just who should you expect to be leading and scoring big by the end? Here are our picks.
Top Pick: Ferrari ($29.2m)
Ferrari has instantly become a must-have in your daily fantasy team with two drivers and a car that appear more than capable of finishing 1-2 when problem-free.
Charles Leclerc showed composure well beyond his years in Bahrain and deserved the victory that was cruelly taken away, while Sebastian Vettel could have an edge in China because of his greater experience.
Medium pick: Kevin Magnussen ($10.3m)
In the midfield, Haas and Magnussen remained the ‘best of the rest’ in qualifying last time out but mysteriously fell back during the race.
That being said, it should be more likely that result was a one-off for the Dane who has made a strong start to 2019, and should be back battling for P6 on Sunday.
Low pick: Lando Norris ($7.1m)
We’ve again gone for Norris as our low-priced pick after another top 10 start this time saw the Briton claim an impressive sixth place in Bahrain.
The British rookie has taken to F1 like a duck to water and his McLaren car is looking pretty consistent too at this stage of the season.
Max Verstappen ($24.5m)
If you choose to stack up with top drivers then Max Verstappen has become a dependable choice and that shouldn’t change in China.
Even on a tricky weekend for Red Bull, the Dutchman capitalized on those around him to finish fourth and the team should be closer to Mercedes & Ferrari this weekend.
George Russell ($6.1m)
Immediately we know that most will see a Williams driver and wonder why but actually, Russell could be a useful cheap add-on to your team.
While his car isn’t competitive, the F2 champion is the quicker between himself and teammate Robert Kubica and because the car is proving reliable, it is allowing him to score points for positions gained as those ahead retire.