It is not yet clear exactly how the upcoming Formula 1 season will take place. No matter how many races it ends up and whether the grandstands remain permanently empty: Codemasters will again publish a racing simulation for the premier class of motorsport this year. We were able to play a preview version and already complete the first routes in the PS monsters.
In the playable preview version of F1 2020 there are five race tracks to choose from, which I was able to take a closer look at as part of a Grand Prix or time trial. The popular career mode, which has been at the heart of racing simulation for years, unfortunately still shines due to the absence. In addition to Bahrain, Spain, Austria, Hungary and Italy, the seven playable routes also include the new venues Hanoi Circuit and Zandvoort.
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The racetrack in the Netherlands in particular, which was a venue for the premier racing class many years ago, impresses with its classic track layout. The uneven asphalt and the tight curves potted by concrete walls give the route character. One cannot say that of Hanoi Circuit, the second new entry. In direct comparison, the Grand Prix in Vietnam looks like the prime example of a modern racetrack. But of course it's nice to see that in F1 2020 all changes of the upcoming Formula 1 season will also be considered in the racing simulation.
So many buttons on the steering wheel!
But once you are behind the wheel of the F1 racing cars, you quickly succumb to the crazy feeling of speed of F1 2020. Codemasters also seems to capture the F1 circus authentically this year. If you are not familiar with the racing series, you can adjust various driving aids in different settings in the settings. In addition, you have systems in the cockpit of the F1 racing cars that you can switch on to gain an advantage on the racetrack.
At the push of a button you activate DRS in the straight line or make various settings on your vehicle in the multifunction display during the race. For example, you control the fuel consumption: if you increase the consumption, it tickles a little more power out of the vehicle. Practical when an overtaking maneuver is initiated or a position is defended. The battery of the energy recovery system can also be set in several stages: the higher the stage, the more power is released. As a result, the battery discharges faster.
In the frenzy of speed
To do this, you can call up various ads or contact your team in the pit lane to find out information about the driver field or to query the status of your own Bolidens. All of these options make F1 2020 an authentic racing simulation. In addition, there are current teams and routes, even the drivers look similar to their real role models, even if their faces look mask-like, which is particularly evident in sequences such as the award ceremony.
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Before you can stand on the podium and celebrate with champagne, you have to deliver a concentrated performance on the race track. The F1 cars are crazy fast. Hardly any other racing game can match Formula 1's feeling of speed. Since my first trips into the virtual premier class of racing, be it F1 97 on PlayStation 1 or F1 World Grand Prix on Nintendo 64, the constant urge for perfection has continued unabated.
Where in other racing games there are just a blink of an eye, this unit of time means so much more in the world of Formula 1. Even in the preview version of the upcoming offshoot, I caught myself tinkering with my vehicle in free practice and pushing the ideal line on the track to optimize my best lap after lap. If the setup is right, the track knowledge increases and a best time in qualifying jumps out, it actually feels like an achievement.
Authentic as usual
Codemasters' F1 series has already impressed in recent years. Long-established fans will surely enjoy the option of activating the overtake button with LB and you no longer have to switch through the multifunction display. Visually, not much has changed in the racing simulation. The game is visually convincing, even if its look seems a bit too clean for my taste.
But this is absolutely not wild, because F1 2020 looks really good. The F1 or F2 vehicles in particular appear realistic. Many different camera perspectives are available and capture the racing action well and clearly. What I personally find a shame: As a steering wheel owner, I would like to switch off the virtual steering wheel in the cockpit perspective, as in project cars.
Unfortunately, this is not possible in F1 2020, I can only switch off the movement of the steering wheel and hands, which for me is not an adequate solution. It just bothers me to see another steering wheel on the screen next to my real steering wheel. Even Forza Motorsport offers a viewing angle without a steering wheel.