Rules for our custom fantasy Formula 1 league
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Lessel Fantasy Formula 1 Rules

This is an attempt to clarify all the various rules and edge cases that may arise from our custom-made fantasy Formula 1 league. These rules have slightly morphed over the years but have remained relatively the same as they were in 2010.

These rules have worked amazingly well for a league size of three people. Most things would most likely need to be adjusted in a larger league size.

Table of contents

  1. Teams
  2. Driver Draft
  3. Draft Order Determination 1. Random Driver Method 1. Random Elector Method
  4. Bidding
  5. Scoring
  6. Score calculations 1. Movement Points 1. Lap Points 1. Championship Points
  7. Bets
  8. Types of bets 1. Driver on pole position 1. Winning driver 1. Driver with most positions gained
  9. Team Roster Changes
  10. Calcuations 1. Driver value calculation 1. Points trade ratio
  11. Leftover Points
  12. Edge Cases
  13. Driver drops out of a race
  14. Queueing up races vs. deadlines
  15. Ideas for the Future
  16. Trades


Teams are made up of five drivers. Each driver may only be on one team. Once a driver is acquired by a team, they are that team's and may only be acquired by a different team through a trade or, if released by the owning team, through a free agent acquisition.

Driver Draft

Teams are set at the beginning of the season through an auction-style driver draft. Each team begins the draft with 100 points. The minimum bid for a driver is seven points. The order the drivers are up for auction has changed over the years but the current preferred method is the Random Driver method. Another method used in the past is the Random Elector method.

Random Driver Method

  • All drivers are put into a pool.
  • One driver at a time is selected randomly from that pool is available for bidding.

Random Elector Method

  • All teams are put into a pool.
  • One team at a time is selected randomly from that pool and is responsible for choosing the next driver up for auction.


Once it has been decided which driver is being auctioned, bidding for that driver takes place.

  • Bidding order can either be determined in two ways:
    1. as a specific predetermined order where each team in turn has the option to bid or explicitly pass
    2. as a regular auction in which bidding is open and is completed after a reasonable amount of time passes after the last bid
  • If every team passes its bid (no team makes a bid), the driver goes back into the pool and is available for future draws.
  • Once a driver has received a bid from one team and all other teams have passed, that driver now belongs to the high-bidding team and their draft points balance is reduced by their bid amount.

It is possible for a team to get itself into a situation in which it cannot meet the minimum bid for a driver (seven points). That situation hasn't yet arisen and hopefully will not ever. Keep yourself in check. Don't be that guy.

Any leftover points are placed into a starting pool of points available for team roster changes. These points do not count as team league points and can only be used for roster changes.


Scoring is determined on a per race basis. A race's score is the sum of the following calculations.

Movement points

= Starting grid position – finishing position


Hamilton starts from pole position (P1) and finished in 8th (P8). His score for this category would be 1–8 = -7.

Vettel qualified in P4 but suffered a penalty between qualifying and race start. He starts last from pit lane with a 22-driver lineup (P22). He finishes in 6th place. His score for this category would be 22-6 = 16.

Lap points

= number of laps completed at the end of the race


In the 2010 Australian Grand Prix, the race length was 58 laps. Heikki Kovalainen completed 56 laps by race end. His score for this category would be 56.

Championship points

= 2x the earned championship points for the driver's finishing position

Note: through penalties, it is possible that a driver crosses the finish line in one position and is officially qualified in another. The official qualification is the one that counts.


Massa finished 3rd in the race earning him 15 championship points. His score for this category would be 30.


In order to add some extra points-earning opportunities and excitement to each race, proposition bets are available per race. Each team can bet a portion of their points pool on three bets. These points can be split up however the team likes but cannot exceed, per race, 50 points in total or their maximum amount of points, whichever is less.

Driver on pole position

  • Bet on which driver will start the race on pole position
  • Note that through penalties, this can be a different driver than the one that qualified on pole position
  • Pays 2:1 (a successful 50-point bet would yield 100 net points)
  • Bets are closed at the start of race qualifying

Winning driver

  • Bet on which driver will finish the race at P1
  • Note that through penalties, this can be a different driver than the one that crossed the finish line in P1
  • Pays 2:1 (a successful 50-point bet would yield 100 net points)
  • Bets are closed at race start

Driver with most positions gained

  • Bet on which driver will gain the most positions during a race
  • Because of penalties on both race start and end, this needs clarification: this is based on which position the driver starts the race, not where he qualified. Also his official qualification in the race standings by the race stewards is what is taken into account and not in which position he crosses the finish line.
  • Pays 2:1 (a successful 50-point bet would yield 100 net points)
  • In the event two (or more) drivers share the largest number of positions gained, a bet on either (or any) of those drivers pays 1:1
  • Bets are closed at race start

Team Roster Changes

At any point during the season, a team may make changes to their driver roster. Each driver is valued at a calculated amount of points based on their current Driver's Championship standings. A team may use any leftover draft points plus trade (at a predetermined ratio) any necessary amount of league points in order to complete a transaction.

Note that buying and selling must occur in tandem. At no time is a team allowed to have more or less drivers than five.

All trades must be completed before the start of a race's first qualifying session. From then, no roster changes can be made until after the weekend's race has been completed. This means that if a driver is removed from a race between qualifying start and race completion, the owning team is out of luck and that driver scores no points for the team.

Driver value calculation

A drivers value is calculated as the total number of drivers who are listed in the official Driver's Championship standings minus that drivers current standing in the Driver's Championship. This means it is a moving value and can change race by race and higher ranked drivers are valued higher.


Twenty (20) Drivers are listed in the Driver's Championship standings. Alonso is currently ranked 4th in the standings. His value is 20-4 = 16.

Points trade ratio

If a driver does not have enough points between their leftover draft points pool and selling their one driver to cover the cost of adding the new driver, the team may trade league points to trade points at a 1:4 ratio.


Team B had 2 points leftover from the initial driver draft. They would like to drop Driver 1 with a value of 2 and replace him with Driver 2 with a value of 16. Driver 1's value of 2 would bring the transaction amount balance to 14. Team B would use their 2 leftover draft points to bring the transaction balance to 12. They would then need to use 12*4 = 48 league points to bring the transaction balance to 0 and complete the transaction. They would then have 0 leftover draft points.

Leftover points after a transaction

Any positive points remaining after a transaction goes into the Team's pool and is available for any future transactions. These points do not ever translate into league points.


Team C has 0 points available for roster changes. They would like to drop Driver 1 with a value of 4 and replace him with Driver 2 with a value of 1. The transaction balance would be 1-4 = -3. After the transaction completes, Team C would have 3 points available for future roster changes.

Edge Cases

A driver drops out of a race

If a driver does not race for any reason, it is up to the owning team to make the decision to keep or drop them from their roster. All deadlines are still in effect. If you're not paying attention between races, this can bite you.

Queueing up races vs. deadlines

This is borne from our particular issue in which there are times in which we record races and watch multiple back to back. Even though we try to avoid learning about races that we have not watched but have already passed, deadlines that apply to those and future races still apply. In other words, just because we have not seen a race does not mean any deadlines specified above do not apply – they do!

Yes, this means one of your drivers can be injured and miss two subsequent races without you knowing it. You get no points for those missed races. Sorry.

Ideas For the Future


Any two teams may make a driver trade (and include points) under their own terms as long as after the trade is complete both teams still have a positive points total and a 5-driver roster. This can be creative.