By: Paul Hickey
In June we gave an update on Formula 1 cards after a dreadful year of performance for the racing card market as a whole. Today, we’re back to provide another update. Has the bubble burst? Who can you make money on now, and how much risk is associated with trying to do so? Below you’ll find a recap that includes analysis of the last two months of market performance.
First, let’s take a look at the Formula 1 market as a whole over the last 365 days. For investors that made plays prior to September 2022, you were more than likely bit by the subsequent 365-day tank. Headlined by a drastic falloff between September and December, investors that were holding found themselves in a position where they had to decide whether or not getting out was the best play to salvage what initial investment they could.
Was this the floor? Could another extreme pricing dip occur? Based on the chart below, you’ll see that once March 2023 hit, pricing basically hit a standstill and has continued to fluctuate at a lower rate of volatility. The real question now is: should investors be going in heavily on the F1 market?
To answer that question we need to evaluate a couple of things. First, what does historical data tell us the best time to buy F1 is, and what would our sell markers be? Second, who should you be investing in? A strong strategy is typically to find cards that we believe are undervalued and have high upside and clear sell markers in the next 6 to 12 months, during the most ideal points of F1’s hype cycles.
Historically, investors have been able to buy top-tier racers at a discounted price during December, as the F1 season concludes at the end of November. It’s recommended that you do your research now to find racers with cards you like and you believe have high cyclical upside. Fortunately for you, we’ve done some research already and have three cards to pay attention to for when 2023 draws to a close.
1. Max Verstappen: 2020 Topps Chrome Formula 1 Refractor #6 PSA 10
Kicking off our list is the most dominant driver in F1 today, Max Verstappen. The Red Bull Racing prodigy recently became the first driver to win 10 straight races, a ridiculous feat that saw his overall card market see a healthy increase — though we still believe there are several plays to be made for Verstappen at the end of 2023 that will turn profits for short-term investors.
A key card is his 2020 Topps Chrome Formula 1 Refractor in PSA 10. Over the last 60 days, this card has seen a 36% dropoff resulting in over a $500 dip in pricing. If you wait until December, you should see this number drop slightly. Those that make the move could see a high number of markers to sell for a profit with how dominant Verstappen has been.
2. Lewis Hamilton: 2020 Topps Chrome Formula 1 Sapphire Edition #1 PSA 10
A second key card is Lewis Hamilton’s 2020 Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition in PSA 10. Currently down $75 the last 30 days and trading at $325, this is a great mid-tier pricing option.
Hamilton, 38, is highly touted as one of the top F1 racers of all time and his cards are sure to reflect strongly from pricing hype cycles. Look to snag Hamilton in December and hang tight until his prices jump towards the beginning of the second quarter of the year.
3. Fernando Alonso: 2020 Topps Now Formula 1 Base #25 PSA 10
Fernando Alonso currently sits 3rd in this year’s F1 points rankings, and has a flurry of cards to choose from. A popular pick for Alonso is his 2020 Topps Now Formula 1 in PSA 10. It’s worth noting that while Alonso’s cards don’t trade frequently and provide little liquidity for investors, this card features a pop count of just 74 (with a limited print run of just more than 2,000) and is currently trading at a 28% discount over the last 365 days.
It should continue to dip farther as we get into the winter months, providing flippers a card that showcases a bit of exclusivity while being still affordable around the $50 mark.
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Paul Hickey is a regular contributor to Sports Card Investor, the creator of the Sports Card Investment Report at NoOffseason.com, and the host of the Sports Card Strategy Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube. He can be found on Instagram at @sportscardstrategy and on Twitter @nooffseasoncard.