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The Las Vegas GP is here! With it come many interesting considerations that will affect driver performance. The combination of four factors is giving us pause on signing any rookie drivers who haven’t experienced these types of conditions:
For these reasons, you should carefully consider the rookies on your roster this weekend.
Oscar Piastri - Yes, we just said to be careful about your rookies. If there is one exception and you want to take the risk, Oscar is your guy, and he is back in talent-driver territory. Had it not been for a weird situation in Brazil that kept him from unlapping himself, Oscar could have had a great weekend. Using him as a talent driver could net you close to 300 points in Las Vegas.
Alex Albon - Albon had back-to-back races scoring over 130 points, and a quick DNF on the first lap in Brazil ensured that was not about to happen again. His pace was there, albeit not as strong as in other races, but as long as Albon stays out of trouble, he’s a value once again.
Charles Leclerc - The highs and lows Leclerc has experienced this past few races rival the likes of Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso. He joins Yuki Tsunoda as the only driver (to our recollection) to have a DNS while out on the formation lap. He finished on the podium in Mexico after a DQ from the USA Grand Prix after a solid race there. If he can stay on the track and finish a race, Leclerc is a screaming value.
Is Gasly at His Peak? - For the first time since Canada, Pierre Gasly is above the talent driver threshold. With Alpine’s propensity to switch back and forth of which driver has a good race, coupled with the fact that his ceiling is not great compared to other drivers in his price range, it’s hard to justify playing Gasly this week. Fernando Alonso could once again finish on the podium for $1.4M more, or for $1.2M less, you could play Piastri, who is just as likely to finish ahead of Gasly, and you get the talent driver bonus. Gasly is not worth the price right now.
Talent Driver Candidates:
With Oscar Pistri now back in talent driver range, you can’t ignore him. Given everything said above, he is a risk, but now is the point in the season where you need to take risks given everyone in your league is choosing from the same roster.
Endorsing Lance Stroll comes with a healthy amount of trepidation. The last time he was featured here, he DNF’d in Mexico. But Aston Martin looked strong in the absence of Mercedes in Brazil. If Mercedes had been there in terms of pace and Leclerc not ending his race before it began, they may have finished a little further down the order. But Strolls P5 is nothing to scoff about, and Fernando Alonso held off Sergio Perez in his Red Bull for a long while. Maybe this Aston Martin car has regained its early-season pace.
Yuki Tsunoda is approaching his peak salary he had way back in Miami and Monaco at $15.8M. But, at his current $14M, he’s the 13th highest-priced driver on the grid. For a driver who can reasonably end up in the points and has shown the ability to finish better than where he should, Yuki could be a nice pick as a talent driver this weekend.