F1 2011 by Codemasters

F1 2011 – Codemasters’ F1 sequel played

F1 video gamePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 2011 by Codemasters
F1 2011 by Codemasters

Codemasters’ first F1 game, F1 2010, enjoyed huge sales and won a BAFTA award.

Doubtless part of that success was motivated by the lack of an official F1 game for four years. But it’s clear from the activity on the F1 Fanatic Forum players haven’t put the game down months after it came out.

But what can Codemasters do to entice people to buy the sequel, due out in September? I went to a preview event on Wednesday to find out and try the latest version of the game.

The 2011 update

Naturally, the game boasts updated content to reflect the 2011 season.

That means a new track to play with in the shape of India. As last year with South Korea, the developers have had to model the game based on expectations of how the Buddh International Circuit will look, as the game will come out before the inaugural Indian Grand Prix takes place.

The German Grand Prix sees the Hockenheimring swapped for the Nurburgring, and of course there’s no longer a Bahrain Grand Prix.

The teams and drivers are updated – those keeping score in the ‘Lotus vs Lotus’ war will note Renault and Lotus are referred to as “Lotus Renault GP” and “Team Lotus” respectively.

As last year, the data is based on the start of the season. So the McLarens sport their distinctively bright early-season rear floor, and don’t expect appearances from Pedro de la Rosa or Daniel Ricciardo.


F1 2011 by Codemasters
F1 2011 by Codemasters

The new rules for 2011 have been faithfully recreated too. You get limited KERS boosts and DRS use is also true to life: it’s unavailable in the first two laps of the race and only available for use when you’re close enough to another car.

However it’s never been as difficult to overtake in an F1 game as it is in real life, and while playing I seldom had the opportunity to use DRS in a race situation.

Lee Mather, chief car handling designer, said the DRS has been modelled closely on real life, including the ‘forbidden zone’ in the tunnel at Monaco:

“It’s authentic, we do it correctly. There’s a DRS activation zones, we have them marked one the circuit. In some instances we have boards at the side of the circuit as they do on certain tracks. We do it exactly as it is.

“For the circuits that haven’t been announced we make a very educated guess.”

“Things like KERS and DRS are incredible for a racing game because they lend themselves towards a game incredibly well,” he added.


F1 2011 by Codemasters
F1 2011 by Codemasters

The developers are keen to stress that the game is more than just an update of the content from F1 2010. One of the main areas they’re focussed on this year is multiplayer.

The addition of an offline multiplayer mode, where two players can race each other on one console with a split screen, will surely please the many people who asked for the feature last year.

Online players can now race a full grid of 24 cars of which up to 16 can be player-controlled, the rest run by the computer.

But the most interesting and original aspect of the multiplayer mode is the new co-operative championship, where two people can play through the game together. This should add much greater depth to the experience than the usual online crash-fests.

What’s in, what’s out

F1 2011 by Codemasters
F1 2011 by Codemasters

At Wednesday’s press event the developers faced the usual barrage of questions about what’s in and what’s not in the game.

Those hoping for the introduction of the safety car are to be disappointed. It’s clear from talking to the developers they feel players would only enjoy following the safety car briefly before getting tired of it and choosing to skip the interruption.

Mather told me: “The safety car is one of those things we’ve been asked about a lot.”

“If we can get a safety car in the game which we feel enhances the experience, we’ll have the safety car in the game. If we can’t, if it takes away from the enjoyment of the game, then we won’t have a safety car.”

Red-flag scenarios are also not modelled, and nor is there a pre-race formation lap. There won’t be any download-able content for the game either.

However the team have addressed some of the criticisms of the previous game, starting with the use of sector times during qualifying laps for that authentic, high-pressure hot-lap experience.

Seeing the whole race

In F1 2010, the inability for players to scroll through rival cars in replay mode to see how their race was progressing led to speculation that the races were being ‘faked’.

This feature will not be in F1 2011 either. Mather said: “You still can’t scroll between the cars, but you can see their progress. The ability to swap between the cars is still, technically, very difficult to do.”

However the developers say they understand the complaint and have made other changes to allow players to better appreciate the race going on around them:

“It’s something we’ve given a lot of consideration because we felt exactly the same way about it,” says Mather.

“Obviously in Formula 1 you can be out on your own, completely in the lead, it’s your race to win. But there’s somebody behind on a different strategy and in the end he bumps you down to third or fourth.

“There’s a couple of things we’ve added to help that. The race engineer is now present in online races, so he will be able to update you. Let’s say for example you’re doing good pace, the engineer will come on and say your race pace is good so you’ll know you don’t have to push any harder, and you’ll know that when the pit stops and everything play out you’ll be in a strong final position.

“We’ve also added additional element to the on-screen display. Previously you had a spot that showed you temperatures and damage. There’s now an additional one which shows you an idea of how much fuel you’ve got beyond and below the optimal points, and also the projected rejoining position should you pit.”

He adds they didn’t include a list of positions for all drivers because of a lack of screen space. However, players can now pause the game and access data on the drivers positions, pit stops and major events that have happened during the race.


F1 2011 by Codemasters
F1 2011 by Codemasters

The switch to Pirelli tyres has meant significant changes to how the cars handle.

This opens up the opportunity for more varied tyre strategies, as Mather explains: “We’ve run quite a lot of long races while testing the tyre durations out.

“We’ve finished within a second of each other after starting on different compounds. Steve [Hood, chief game designer] won a race at Spa running on a one-stop strategy while I ran two or three. He just wanted to try it out to see if it was possible. At one point in the race he was significantly slower than we were, we were taking seconds out of him on every lap.”

I took the opportunity to get a first-hand feel of how the cars handle in F1 2011. They feel more challenging to drive – twitchier, and more likely to catch you out if you get too greedy with the throttle on corner exit. Unless you’ve got all the driver aids switched on, of course.

The variation in their performance between different types of tyre compound is much more noticeable – unfortunately I didn’t have time to get much of a feel for how long the tyres last.

Some of the improvements made to the handling are left over from developments that were planned for F1 2010 but never made it, as Mather explains:

“We were working on an improved suspension model. Unfortunately due to some other technical difficulties we couldn’t get it fully implemented.”

They settled on a compromise solution for the first game: “It was very good, but it wasn’t quite where we could get to.”

The new model is implemented in F1 2011: “It makes a big difference to the feel of the cars. It allowed us to start with a clean sheet on cars set-ups.

“It gives the feeling of a car that’s in contact with the track surface. That was one of the biggest things we really wanted to gain – the feel.”


F1 2011 by Codemasters
F1 2011 by Codemasters

Aside from the inevitable updates, the tracks have been enhanced with further details.

This seemed to have a consequence for frame rates in the game, which appeared to stutter when many cars were visible at once, but I’ll reserve judgement on that until I’ve played the finished version.

The garages and paddock have been the focus of considerable work and can now be viewed in much greater detail than before.

The level of detail extends to the cars, where players will now see differences between the steering wheels authentically replicated. This is especially important, as your virtual drivers’ hands will be busy flicking the gear lever and jabbing the KERS and DRS buttons.

We were shown side-by-side comparisons of the new and old versions of the game, which demonstrated the finer details very well. Unfortunately they cannot be shared here because Formula One Management have not signed off the graphics used for public release.

The finished product

It was clear from the mixed public reaction to last year’s game that many have strong opinions about what features should be included. Mather explains: “The way we have to look at it is we want to take as much as we can from Formula 1 and make the game as close as we can to that.

“But not at the penalty of taking away the enjoyment of playing it.

Codemasters had dozens of machines running the latest build of F1 2011, described as a “beta” version which still had “two months’ polishing” left to do.

From the half-dozen chances I had to play it’s clear there is plenty of work to be done on elements such as crash damage, graphical glitches and bug fixes – the latter a significant source of frustration for early buyers of the first game.

F1 2011 will be released on September 23rd for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Handheld console versions will appear later. F1 Fanatic will have a full review of the version for major consoles.

Buy / pre-order F1 2011 for Sony PlayStation 3
Buy / pre-order F1 2011 for Microsoft Xbox 360

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136 comments on “F1 2011 – Codemasters’ F1 sequel played”

  1. Looking forward to it. I hope this time the random grid generator doesn’t have a Mclaren on pole at every race.

    1. It is just to compensate the real world where we have Vettel at almost every pole positions so far ;)

      1. Hopefully they fixed the PitStops…you know, where they hold me in to wait for the rest of the drivers to come in, change tires and leave before me.

        They never patched that, so I will buy this used. No excuse for laziness for a bug that game breaking.

        1. Hatebreeder
          8th July 2011, 15:33

          And also the 80% deadzone i had in the throttle pedal of my thrustmaster ferrari GT.

        2. Or you could just alter your pit strategy as is done in real life to compensate.

          1. why? when they would hold you for no reason.

        3. Daniel, you have no idea how many times that I have screamed and cursed at the lollypop man, for the very reasons that you describe.

          1. you are sooo right mate

  2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    8th July 2011, 10:07

    This sounds really, really promising. From what I’ve read here and elsewhere the handling has been improved significantly and it’s much less forgiving than last year. I can’t wait to start fighting with these ‘twitchier’ cars.

    Enjoy your Collantine Cup title, Damon. It seems like it’ll be pretty hard for you to defend it this year…

    1. I agree. The last game was good but rain seemed to have very little effect on the grip even though the lap times dropped considerably which was strange and I found it very annoying that once the car behind was over 30secs back you no longer had any idea on just how far back it was.

      I also did not like the difficulty settings as it seemed that you could either have a hard race without driver aids or an easy race with driver aids. I wanted the drivers line and auto gears but with hard opponents which was not possible.

      One other thing was that the computer players never seemed to crash on their own or make mistakes. As this is a major part of the dynamics of an F1 race I thought it was a significant omission.

      1. ‘I wanted the drivers line and auto gears but with hard opponents which was not possible.’

        You can.

        Set the difficulty to expert then scroll down and change the assists to whatever to want, making sure the AI difficulty level at the bottom is set to ‘legend’


        1. I will try again, but I did not see a way to turn on or off the driver assists without changing the difficulty. I will look tonight when I get home as I may well have missed something.

          1. No worries. I think you have to press [whatever select is on your respective console] on the difficulty select bit to access the extra settings.

    2. I also forgot to mention the fact that there did not seem to be any way of changing the Engine before a race weekend so doing so would mean fore fitting a practice session. And there was no way as far as I could tell of seeing how many tyres you had left.

      1. To see your remaining tyres, while your in the garage press left to go to the tyres menu then you can scroll through the different tyres and press select/enter to see how many sets you have remaining and what condition they are in.

        1. Brilliant! I will take a look later. To be honest I was sort of expecting the info to be on the console screen.

          1. No, I am about to start a race and I go to the tyre menu, press select and it say “Unavailable”

      2. Lee, you have to have the difficulty on, I think, either hard or expert before going into the race from the motor home then you have a limited no. of tyres, penalty’s will be harsher, damage is higher, and the AI will be at the difficulty set. At least that’s how it works on 360. Hope it helps.

    3. LOL, I guess you are already planning the off season championship. But it will be in a shorter time frame, to add pressure. And featuring even more players to coordinate!

  3. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    8th July 2011, 10:08

    Also, I’ll shamelessly plug these gameplay videos F1 2010 NeoGAF champion Lucius86 posted from the event:


    1. Sweet. That Vid with Croft had me in stitches!

      Oh, on a completely related note. Those championships you were running. What console where they on? I’m quite certain I want in this time round.

      1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
        8th July 2011, 15:42

        PS3. Though I warn you, as much as I would love you to join us, there will probably be an extremely limited number of free places this year.

        1. Yeah I figured, I saw that a junior championship was run, that’ll do me.

          1. when we say there’ll be a limited amount of places, we’re not saying you have to have any skill to get in! the junior championship has probably got better driver’s than ours!

        2. Good thing the upped the number of places available a bit!

  4. “Things like KERS and DRS are incredible for a racing game because they lend themselves towards a game incredibly well”

    I’m not surprised by this…

  5. Aww. No safety car. That is a shame. I wouldn’t like to drive behind it for lap after lap, but i would like the strategic element of having it. I think that could be a lot of fun.

    1. I don’t understand the need for a safety car. I can understand why the hardcore fans might enjoy it, but they’re outnumbered by casual gamers who probably don’t want to spend lap after lap coasting around the circuit at 100km/h. The only way I can see a safety car working would be with either a) the option to skip it and return to race conditions, which would probably advance the race by a few laps, or b) the ability to turn it on and off in the menus.

      1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
        8th July 2011, 11:01

        Either option A or B would be fine, with B being the best idea in my opinion.

        And anyway, why would casual gamers buy an F1 game and then complain about the Safety Car? Why not just buy a Forza or a DiRT or a GT5 or a Burnout if you just want to go casual racing? If you buy an F1 game, you should expect it to be a simulation of F1 racing and everything that entails. If I want an FPS which is all-action and provides casual pick-up-and-play gameplay, I’ll buy Call of Duty – I wouldn’t buy Operation Flashpoint and then complain about the slower but more realistic gameplay because that’s the whole point of that franchise?

        Basically I think they should pay less attention to the casual gamers. Yeah, they help to sell more copies but they aren’t the ones who’ll still be playing it regularly even two months after its release.

        1. Mag, I agree with you.

          I think that F1 should be for people who really want to race F1 cars as much as practically possible. ie. Put in saftey cars, put in engines going if your use one too much. Put in tyre wear.

          Then I can play GT5 and be happy with that and F1 if I want something harder and with F1 features more intricately in it.

          And if you don’t then just play NFS or Forza or GT.


          Codemasters wouldn’t be happy. Codemasters don’t make Gran Turismo nor Forza and so everyone person who decides to go and buy GT or Froza for PS3 or 360 respectively is a lost fcustomer.

          Sure we may enjoy having a great game, but until F1 is produced a company already producing a bigger game then we stand no chance.

          To that respect I would like to see Polyphony have a go. The F2007 and F10 are fun in GT but are missing competitors and more tracks and I’m sure they are not allowed to make the car as exact as they would like due to licensing agreements. (i.e, may look and sounds like an F2007 but can’t have the driving characteristics.. if they define the ‘car’ by its ‘characteristics’ thinking legally).

          But then yo would be worried that they would just stick the NFS engine into F1 which could be bad.

      2. I see that not many people would like to spend laps behind a safety car going incredibly slowly, nor would i. But the fact that it bunches up the cars could be interesting. Some cars pits, some don’t and the race goes on from there. I think if they just implemented option a and b it could work both for casual fans and for the more “hardcore” fans.
        I have tried a few times to be spun or by my self spin out on the first lap and then pit for a new set of tyres to stay out of traffic and make up the time and it would be much better if you could hope for a safety car to come out and save my race, or in other cases if you are in front ruin it.
        And of cause if they did implement a safety car they would have to make the AI crash more. In F1 2010 it is very rare that a car don’t make it to the finish line. They are also too tough, you can crash a lot and still continue. Just to make the safety car needed. If they keep the AI like in the first game the SC would be used like two times in a whole season.

  6. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    8th July 2011, 10:19

    One thing that does surprise me is this:

    “You still can’t scroll between the cars, but you can see their progress. The ability to swap between the cars is still, technically, very difficult to do.”

    So why does every single racing game not made by Codemasters allow you to do this, then? I don’t really believe that, to be honest.

    1. Yes, even games such as Grand Prix 2 could do this, and that was 15 years ago…

      1. Even F1 Challenge ’99-’02, and that was in 2003. Of course the other cars had lower-res textures to not overload the game, but that’s fine. I mean, tha cars are there anyhow, it’s just to see them from another view, the on board camera.

      2. In my opinion their AI cheats and they try to hide it. I think it’s buried deep into the engine of the game. Of course as it is, it’s hidden very well, but still… I think we could spot it right away, if they allowed to scroll between cars.

    2. SirCoolbeans
      8th July 2011, 11:21

      That surprises me too.

      All the cars will have been loaded into memory already, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Unless of course the AI car models have a lower level of detail and that would clearly show when switching away from the players car.

      Memory could be tight, they would have to store the movement inputs for all the cars and for every lap, but then they are doing that already because the AI cars are in the correct positions when you replay the race already, and you could compress/decompress that data at runtime. Unless they are only storing data for the cars around you, it would be memory intensive at the start of the race, but thin out as things progress and the cars spread out.

      Their engine appears to be deterministic too, if it’s not they are doing a good job of hiding it!

      I’d love to know why! They’ll be a good reason for it, otherwise they would have added that in the first game.

      1. SirCoolbeans
        8th July 2011, 11:31

        And it’s not as easy as saying “but Grand Prix 2 did this in the 90’s” because things don’t really change. Developers do have more technology available but then players expect so much more. So we still run our games at the limit of the hardware (usually RAM and VRAM). The chances are they have used those hardware resources for another cool feature instead and replays lost out.

        You’d be surprised just how early in development games use up their hardware resources, from pre-alpha onwards it’s a battle between art, code, design, and especially the poor audio guys for memory.

        1. AdrianMorse
          8th July 2011, 12:34

          Still… Formula 1 Grand Prix (e.g. ‘Grand Prix 1’) did it in 1991 on a 7Mhz machine with 1Mb of memory.

          I played F1GP a lot, but once a replay caught me by surpise: I was leading the French GP at Magny-Cours, and after the adelaide hairpin I thought I’d check what the others were doing. To my surprise, in the replay, I went off at the first corner!! My hypothesis is that F1GP stored the inputs in memory, and then re-enacted the last part of the race with those inputs. Sure enough, when I pressed space to resume racing, I was in the gravel trap…

          1. Haha! Oh ouch!

    3. It’s not that it’s technically difficult to do in general, but I’m sure I read somewhere that it’s difficult to do with the Ego engine which the game is built on. That sounds to me like they could only do it with some sort of ugly hack which is the kind of thing that would reduce performance or introduce bugs.

    4. Yeah, I was wondering that too. I mean, games like GP2 which are over 10 years older can do this…

      1. Robert McKay
        8th July 2011, 21:10

        Heck the original “Formula 1” on the original Playstation let you cycle through everyone in the replays.

        And they had more cars then! :-D

  7. Extremely excited about f12011. Ive heard many good things about it already including the progressive oversteer (instead of the snap oversteer that can be corrected by tapping the brake) The sound in the game is meant to be brilliant too, very authentic engine and tyre sqeal sounds including tyre lock ups.

    Not so sure about having your engineer talk to you while in muitplayer mode though, hope you can switch this option off. Get bored of listening to my engineer state obvious fact and telling me i can easily pass someone even though theres no evidence to back this theory up.

  8. “For the circuits that haven’t been announced we make a very educated guess.”

    I hope if their predictions are wrong that they will release a patch with the correct zones. Sounds good though!

  9. streetfighterman
    8th July 2011, 10:40

    Why don’t you just get iRacing and race a the Williams FW31 on laserscanned tracks on a great simulation instead? Waaay better than this arcadish thing :)

    1. You tried f1 2011 yet?

      1. streetfighterman
        8th July 2011, 11:05

        quite confident it’s arcade. It’s what codemasters always aim for.

        1. SirCoolbeans
          8th July 2011, 11:27

          I wouldn’t describe F1 2010 as “arcadish”. Sure it is with the default settings, but if you turn every single driving aid off it’s very hardcore and challenging.

          The problem the game had was that the difficulty settings menu was nested within semi-hidden menus and people didn’t realise you could customise things to your taste.

          Lots of friends at work said the game was too easy for weeks after it was released until I showed them where to find the difficulty settings, then they loved the experience!

          1. streetfighterman
            8th July 2011, 11:47

            It’s not simulation man. Don’t even try to make it out to be. Don’t even think Codemasters state it is.
            All I’m saying is, if you like driving and want simulation you rather try iRacing than F1 2011.

          2. Well the lack of real timing as a developmental choice tells me it is a world away from anything other than arcade. A very pretty arcade but arcade all the same.

          3. Yeh agree with you mate.

            I hate the way people try and brand stuff ‘arcade’ just because it doesnt meet exactly the same level of realism as say IRacing. So F12010 might be missing out on a few features to make it feel as authentic but this doesnt mean it falls into the ‘arcade’ category. With all assists off and sims on the game does a briliant job of creating a realistic feel and is by no means a walk in the park to master.

            From what ive seen anyway Rfactor graphically looks very poor.

          4. i agree as well.. i play both iracing and F12010, and they both deserve a place on my Hard Drive..

            Just because it isn’t iRacing-Grade Simulation doesn’t mean it isn’t a good game. Some of my greatest battles online have been on “arcade” games like F12010

          5. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
            8th July 2011, 13:28

            Yeah, I’m a fan of both arcade and simulation racing games. F1 2010 satisfied me as a player in ways GTR2 or GPL have never done.

          6. SirCoolbeans
            8th July 2011, 13:43


            I didn’t call it a simulation, I just said it’s not an arcade game. It’s somewhere in the middle, and it’s a great place to be.

        2. It certainly isn’t an arcade game. It is not a super accurate sim either but it is far closer to pure sim than arcade. Even with it’s faults it is one of the best F1 games I have played.

          1. Everyone is different, but if it is not realistic as possible I could not be bothered with it at all. But i am a simulation fan.

            The graphics are nice, very nice, but with out it being a simulation, personally I would never buy it. Might play it at jb hifi for five minutes though.

          2. Well I am sure in that case you must either be playing on an F1 teams sim or not at all as you are not getting anything approaching realistic on any PC or console. If it was ultra realistic it would be almost unplayable for anyone without a grounding in F1 racing….. Those cars are very difficult to keep on the track let alone race!

            F12010 is a sim, just not an ultra realistic one as lets be honest they are very niche indeed.

  10. Ah…more twitchier handling? A source of major frustration for me of last year’s game was the inability to ‘save’ the car when the rear stepped out…infact it did so quickly enough that you never really even felt the loss of traction early enough to react. Of-course this is only Beta…I’ll just be patient and see what becomes of the physics down the road.

    1. And Codemasters really need to release Grid 2…RaceDriver:Grid was their best race offering I thought. Better than the three DIRTs and F1 2010.

    2. What? With all aids off, the car was TOO easy to save. A tap on the brake, and then all was good.

      1. I guess part of it is 1. the experience of the player with racing games and 2. the equipment used (wheel type/controller) and maybe its different between platforms?

        1. And probably 3 it’s kind of a counter-intuitive save… I’ll agree with being able to spin it back to pointing in the right direction on the brakes when you do end up facing the wrong way but I’m not sure the ‘brake save’ was that realistic – the balance shift would make the spin worse in most cases in real life

          It’s certainly not impossible to catch the spins even without using the brake but without the brake you need to be quite fast and the real problem is that there is no ‘feel’ so you don’t get any real warning that it’s going.

      2. Wallbreaker
        8th July 2011, 13:15

        That´s not what he was talking about. What he really meant that if you oversteered the car, it would be impossible for you to avoid spinning. Of course, hitting the brakes would help you not to spin the car completely but once the car oversteered it was impossible to avoid spinning and continue with a loss of a few tenths of a second. You always ended up standing nose-to-barrier.

    3. This has been rectified from what i hear, oversteer is now progressional.

    4. spanky the wonder monkey
      8th July 2011, 11:57

      yep, me too. the game seemed to use slippy sections on the corners. you’d go half way around a corner fine, then the back end stepped out and it was a half rotation (ps3). you could repeat this time and time again. same corner, same slippy section. i found that a major annoyance, esp compared to gt5 where you can easily drift through corners with proper throttle balance. just didn’t get the same feel in f1 2010

      based on f1 2010, i’ll try 2011 before i buy as i was also disappointed with the lo-res graphics in 2010.

      still think the not viewing another cars race in the replay is a cop out. as others have said, it’s been around for donkeys years.

      1. How many F1 cars have you seen drifting lately?

        1. spanky the wonder monkey
          11th July 2011, 9:16

          my point was that oversteer is controllable in gt5. in the f1 2010 it isn’t. it appears to depend on whether you’re on the ‘slippy’ section of track or not.

    5. Buy a steering wheel.

  11. Where are the drivers sitting? They are way too high. Apart from that the graphics look good.

  12. I hope the drivers roaster get shuffle at the end of each season. it is kind of bored that the AI driver didn’t change a team. Karthikayen get shuffle in to red bull would be awesome or vettel goes to lower team

    No safety? that is good actually. but at least the mechanical and technical breakdown of the car should be much better than F1 2010.

    1. Correction

      *No Safety car?

      p/s : keith we really need edit function on comment

    2. It’s against the license with FOM to have drivers in other teams

      1. Which is a huge pity.

        F1 pole position on the N64 gained HUGE replay value due to you being able to swap the teams drivers and engines.

  13. So basically no new features. It is updated graphics with updated physics, updated drivers and teams and circuits.

    No safety car, no red flags, no way of checking out AI cars’ races (which basically means that everything is faked this year as well).

    F1 2010 was fun as long as you didn’t ask too many questions (why are 3rd sector times never shown? what strategies is everyone else running on? what’s going on with X driver? etc). The moment you tried to do something that’s possible in pretty much every game, you were told that it was too difficult technically, or that they developers didn’t find it interesting or useful.

    Good luck with the game, I see a biased review with no thought towards what was promised before even the previous game came out.

  14. I feel this is simply the game 2010 should have been – they basically released it unfinished. I was thoroughly dissapointed with it and as such probably won’t bother with this one.

    “players haven’t put the game down months after it came out.”

    Well, I can only speak from my experience, but everyone I know who bought it stopped playing it within a couple of weeks. The graphics were great, the racing was actually ok, but the reply value wasn’t there. I’d rather hit a hoop with a stick to be honest. Real shame as GRID was one of the most enjoyable racing games ever.

  15. I really don’t see why they can’t have a safety car period much alike how they do on the NASCAR games.

    All they do is bring out the waved yellows, show a replay of what caused the safety car to come out, then it skips to about 3/4’s of a way through the final safety car lap so you can warm your tyres and receive the green flag! How could that be so difficult?!

    It’s not even new technology. As mentioned above, it’s been used in games over ten years old, even on the PlayStation 1!

    I totally understand why a full drawn out safety car period would be too much/a little pointless, but surely a shortened version?

    Safety car IS a part of F1, especially these days even more so. If there’s a sudden downpour and you have a big lead, you’d expect the safety car to come out and have your lead rapidly reduced for the restart. It’s a complete game changer (excuse the pun), so to simple ignore it isn’t really on. But that’s just my view.

    All the rest sounds very positive, though. Glad they’ve bought back the split-screen. Can’t believe it’s been ignored for so long with other motor racing games!

    As much as we love the online capabilities, I don’t think we ever wanted it at the expense of a good old fashioned split-screen local game!

    1. Wallbreaker
      8th July 2011, 13:22

      Completely agree with you on the SC part.

    2. For once, I think they should copy what NASCAR did. That SC thing sounds good.

    3. Whoah! Replay idea is quite good. It’s pretty sure NASCAR is more friendly even in the game!

  16. jochenrindt
    8th July 2011, 11:16

    If you are really interested in F1 particularly PC, then R-factor is way better than the codemasters efforts, added to that R-Factor 2 will soon be released bringing the title bang up to date. The problems with the codemasters release IMO are as follows, the physics are too easy & unrealistic, the standard codemasters menus as seen in games like dirt/dirt 2 I find particularly annoying and with quite long load times. The biggest thing for me is the games in terms of Livery and smaller details are always out of date by the time they are released. With R-Factor & soon RF2 you are able to download and crucially update user made mods as the season progresses. I really enjoy driving the tracks in the correct cars as they happen, looking forward to having a go on silverstone (2011 layout) with a 2011 mod – although not completely perfect the cars are updated along with the mods & tracks as things change. I have been playing this way since about 2007 and most years a decent mod is out in time for the first race of the season, this is then updated along the way often taking into account details like driver changes, helmet designs (no-one can keep track of vettels!) and innovations in the design of the car. R-factor is a brilliant game that is not limited by the software house that produces it, it also allows you to install mods of any motor sport discipline, for examples of the qulaity available have a search for F1RFT 2010, 2011 mods, some mods are better than others but you have options and can pick and choose the ones you like best. It is incredibly satisfying when for example schumacher was rumoured to return to F1 with ferrari a user had produced a patch to put his helmet in the game about 20 mins after it was annouced. Codemasters is great if you have a console, but R-factor on PC is better for F1 fans in general and will always be more up to date & flexible than pre-released games, there is a safety car, DRS will soon be incorperated along with Kers. If you love F1 and are keen on the details being right R-factor / R Factor 2 is the best package – Check it out!

    1. This is all well and good if you have oodles of time to be downloading tons and tons of mods. I don’t.

      I want to pop the disc into my console and play. Call me arcadey if you want, but to get through seven seasons, I don’t have time to be downloading the latest handling package.

    2. rFactor is good, and i played it for years, but the vast majority of mods out there, like RFT etc, are **** poor, they are made by rank amatures (no disrespect), as well as the vast majority of circuits.

      The other downside of having the community create these mods is not only the lack of accuracy, but its practically impossible to race online with the amount of file mis-matches.

      As another poster said, if anyones interested in a geniune sim, they should try iRacing.

    3. It always amazes me that people that have absolutely no interest in the F1 games can spend so much time and effort on bashing them.

      I assure you, no one is impressed that you play a “hardcore” racing simulator. F1 2010 & 2011 are not meant to be like rfactor, so why even compare them?

    4. Single Player isn’t worth much though. I’m not that much into online racing myself, and rFactor is very disappointing in respect to offline racing (apart from doing hotlaps on your own).

      I feel modders have done a decent enough job at modifying F1 2010 where possible. Sure it’s not the same as having the freedom to change models and all of that, but I think games like F1 2010/11 and rFactor (2) try to appeal to different audiences. It’s one thing to be interested in the technical aspects of F1, it’s another thing to finetune everything yourself for hours in a row before you can fly through Eau Rouge.

      1. rFactor is very disappointing in respect to offline racing

        I would disagree completely, It obviously depends greatly on the circumstance you play it in but I have had many great single player races against the AI.

        I think both games have a place in gaming and both are great games, they offer something different for sure. But to me, it kinda seems like the people that bash one or the other for the most part are missing out.

        F12010 really felt like F1. That’s something that’s hard to get, and it is clearly for me a huge reason to stick with Codemasters, despite their problems.

        1. Then perhaps I have been playing the wrong mods. Nonetheless, the overall SP experience is quite different than F1 2010 was. Like you say, it really felt like F1.

    5. rfactor was designed on the ea engine? i presume so as it was left with the same qualifying dificulties when the format changed. hope rfactor 2 has built its own engine.
      rfactor is a great game for loners or people with all day on their side to update stuff. apart from that its a community splitter as not many use the same version. i was really let down with f1 2010 after waiting 8 years for a new f1 engine. i hope f1 2011 delivers im getting very itchy indeed now cant wait as i quit f12010 after couple of weeks because of the frustration of things especially the slow down that happened on some of the tracks. forget replay camera switching and safty car i live without that if u deliver what 2010 should have been.

  17. I hope they have more and better camera angles. The camera’s for replays in F1 2010 are crap. And more realisitc crashes.
    And more realistic crowds. At Albert Park on F1 2010, the track is completely deserted, when in real life there are crowds all the way around.

  18. I thought F1

  19. Yeh I regularly play rFactor mate. I actually build tracks for it.

    I have the Xbox steering wheel set up, but unfortunately have no force feedback on rFactor (can that be set up?).

    I also have the 2011 cars, but the textures are quite ropey.

    Also, they don’t have KERS or DRS. Until I can find a nice easy method of using them, then I settle for the console versions! :)

    1. jochenrindt
      8th July 2011, 11:54

      download realfeel force feedback for r-factor – it’s perfect!

      kers is available!

      DRS will be out soon!


  20. Great article Keith. A lot of interesting information. First of all, I’m not even slightly bothered that there’ll be no safety-car. It’s a lot of work for not a lot of reward – and there’s many things I’d rather they concentrated on.

    “You still can’t scroll between the cars, but you can see their progress. The ability to swap between the cars is still, technically, very difficult to do.”

    I really can’t understand this. Do Codemasters do something so drastically different compared to other game developers, such as Polyphony Digital that causes such difficulties? If you can’t scroll between cars during sessions; fair enough. But if you can’t do it in the replays, there’s something very wrong. With the Collantine Cup, it would have been extremely interesting to go back and view the race from the perspectives of different players. Gran Turismo 5 manages this without any problems whatsoever, for both online and offline races. Basically, the replay options need to be worked on, because the lack of a decent replay system really detracted from F1 2010.

    The crash damage doesn’t sound too promising, either. Even if the damage model isn’t improved, something needs to be done about the way cars interact with the environment off the track. Hitting walls in F1 2010 was very comical and it actually took an enormous hit to dislodge a wheel. Moreover, the cars wouldn’t bounce off the walls in a realistic way when you grazed them. Instead, they’d stop you dead like you’d gone head-first into a brick wall, destroying the car. I really hope they’ve addressed these issues by its release.

    This seemed to have a consequence for frame rates in the game, which appeared to stutter when many cars were visible at once

    That’s a great shame. This is another thing I don’t understand. Sorry to use this as an example again, but GT5 manages to run at what appears to be 50FPS (if not more) at all times, whilst displaying considerably more detail. It’s the same with split-screen. They reasoned that it would be hard to implement because it would stress the graphics and cause drops in FPS. But once again, you only have to look as far as GT5 to see how effortlessly the feature has been implemented. I’m not sure if it comes down to budget/resources, but having played GT5 for 6 months, I find it difficult to believe all of the excuses.

    As for online multiplayer, I’m so very glad they’ve paid close attention to the fans and increased the grid to 16 playable cars. This is going to be a lot of fun for the next Collantine Cup season! Another thing I think would be interesting is if you could take the co-operative career one step further, and race against other teams of players from around the world. Sounds difficult, but I’m sure it would be interesting if you organised a season with a bunch of people on the forum and we all agreed to a meet-up time on weekends. It would be fun to work through an entire season not just with your friends, but against them too!

    Finally, I’m really hoping they’ve put more effort into the mid-season upgrades. I for one don’t want to be running around at Silverstone in the Virgin sporting this ugly nose-cone seen at the first few races (because I love the new nose!).

    Regardless, it looks like they’ve made significant improvements, and I eagerly await further news on its development. Still, I’m afraid I’ve learnt not to hype it up too much this time, and as a result, I’m not as excited as I was for F1 2010. But I still can’t wait!

    1. You have to remember when making reference to GT5 how long they had to make the game, Codemasters have less than a year, if they run over that the game would be outdated and far less people would buy it.

      1. not necisarily true.

        f1 2011 will use the same game engine as f1 2010 and will basically be an evolution of the f1 2010 code rather than something written completely from scratch.

        its actually something which is not that hard or time consuming to code into a game as its basically just changing the focus car from your’s to the ai.

        its actually so easy to do that im amazed codemasters have never introduced it into any of there games.

    2. nice article you’ve written damon.. =P

      with GT5 they set the game to run at a constant 60FPS, and they struggled for ages to achieve that. The “jaggies” are some of the side-effects of that.

      other than that, looks promising.. can’t wait to line up with the originals, and another 6 rookies to race the Collantine Cup again! the cup’s mine this year!

      1. Guess it will have to be some graduates from the “junior” championship, if they can find the budget :-)

  21. Let’s hope the AI is half decent this time. Loads of overtake chances that aren’t taken because the AI seems to stick rigidly to the racing line.

  22. Benson Mutton
    8th July 2011, 11:41

    Marvelous. I havent stopped playing this since i got it.
    Lets hope all the “glitches” will be sorted for this one.

  23. Ahh yes! I was going to ask when more was going to surface about this, and when you think about it, September 23rd really isn’t far away.

  24. I would also like random incidents. So in a session your car has a problem and you can’t leave the pit until the very last moment, or you have to sit it all out. And mechanical problems in the race, not engine failure and you are out, but a loss of power, or a sudden front wing failure, loss of third gear, or stuck in gear etc. So you can continue, while making it a lot harder to remain position. And then let you choose what the design team builds on your car, if they focus on speed in the race, speed in qualifying, driveability or reliability.

    1. Harry Palmer
      8th July 2011, 12:08

      The devs said in an interview on insidesimracing recently that there will be mechanical failures…

  25. box this lap
    8th July 2011, 13:39

    Just like someone here said before. If you tell me this is the game F1 2010 with the car skins from this season I believe you.

    Codemasters are using the same old dusty EGO Engine once again, Money milk cows galore.

    I would be better if the build one game and upgrade it with DLC’s troughout the season. I bet the Lotus cars don’t have the Caterham logo’s in the game for instance…

    1. This is standard practice in the games industry particularly as the whole point of a modular game engine is so that it can be reused. Just like car manufacturers make many cars based on the same chasis.

      However just because the engine is the same does not mean the game is the same, the engine is only part of the code, after all you would hardly say F1 2010 and Dirt 3 are the same game would you?

      Also as Dirt 3 is one of the best looking race games on the consoles I would not really say the EGO engine is old and dusty, after all it is only a year old…

      1. box this lap
        8th July 2011, 16:36

        I know the engine is a part of the game. There are even first person games build on the EGO engine. The first game made with the EGO engine (Colin McRea Dirt) was released back in 2007. Ok this runs on EGO 2.0 en DiRT on EGO 1.0 but it’s nearly the same to me.

        And ok DiRT 3 looks good on the consoles but GT5 looks better and they both were the same price when they were released, that is my problem. I also think that F1 2011 is delaying a possible Race Driver GRID 2 release, that’s the reason why I don’t like F1 2011 that much.

        In my opinion Codemasters thought:

        “Here you have F1 2011 because the season is underway and we need to release this now, only 10 of the 20 ideas we had for this game made it in F1 2011. F1 2012 is also released next year so we have to hurry!”

        1. But GT5 is the same old boring crap while Dirt3 is fun and enjoyable…

          Plus ego 1.0 and 1.5 may be the same to you but they are probably very different to the coders and game designers!

          Games are often released on a schedule determined by licence holders and publishers so it is not always the developers fault for a rushed release. However look at GT5 took years and years along with delay on top of delay and it is still dull!

    2. You need to do some more research on f1 2011 before moaning about it. From what ive read so far its a completely new experiance altogether, esspecially the handling physics. As for the Catherham logo? Who cares, i mean is that your main worry? Will this really alter your enjoyment of the game when hurtling around at 180mph??

      1. box this lap
        8th July 2011, 16:45

        From what ive read so far its a completely new experience* altogether, especially* the handling physics.

        That’s just standard cheap marketing talk. Did you play the game to know if they are right?

        As for the Caterham logo, yes it does alter my enjoyment. for instance if Alonso is unable to race in Abu Dhabi this year, then I’m still racing with Alonso in Abu Dhabi in the game. I don’t like that, but this is the main problem with this games. That the reason I rather spend my money on a complete new gaming experience then on a F1 2010 2.0 experience.

        1. Very strange, your expecting to much from a game. After all it is still only a game and not real life. I couldnt care less if i was still racing with Alonso at Abu Dhabi even if he wasnt racing in real life as im more intersted in the racing aspect of the game while behind the wheel. But thats just me.

          I read a review from some bloke that was at the westfield event. I dont think it was a biased view as he didnt work for codemaster. He gave it plenty of praise and stated it was a lot better in more ways than 1 over the 2010 game.

  26. Any chance of it coming out on the new Wii U?? I’m waiting for a more modern F1 game than F1 ’09, which seems eons ago..

    1. Well as the Wii U does not even have a solid release date and it is 2012 at the earliest, I doubt F1 2011 will be appearing on it. Anyway what on earth are you wanting to play anything on the Wii other than Donkey Kong Country Returns for!

  27. I’ll be interested to see really if KERS and DRS adds anything. It seems like it will be just an annoyance. What buttons are you going to use on the controller or wheel anyway? All are taken now and I don’t even have a button remaining to “look right” into my mirrors.

    1. You use one of the control sticks to look around; not buttons.

    2. I found I got used to KERS very quickly. DRS, as I said, I had little chance to use properly.

      I played using a standard Xbox controller and a steering wheel. It was very easy to use them on the Xbox controller. I didn’t like the way the steering wheel was set up but of course that will be user-controllable.

  28. thank you keith.. waiting for this game. :)

  29. ‘The ability to swap between the cars is still, technically, very difficult to do.”’

    why when r factor did which was basically a modified f1 99-03.

  30. Hammer Time
    8th July 2011, 16:56

    Reading through some of the other comments on this article made me laugh: like Cab drivers arguing over which is the optimal route! Anyone would think some of you were Fernando Alonso the way you moan and bleat about the shortcomings of the previous game.

    I loved the F12010 game. I completed it on Xbox. Yes,
    I am shamelessly arcadey. I wouldn’t much care if the liveries are out of date and I won’t miss a safety car. As long as I can race with my mates online, and the unrealistic handling is patched, I will be happy.

    If you think youve got game, add me on Xbox: ‘Mother Goose 07’: see if you can teach me a thing or two! :-)

  31. I loved the last game. My two hopes are that the lolly-pop man is more aggressive, and that you have a better idea of what’s actually going on in the race.

    Due to the 30 seconds or so it often took to be released from the pitts, I always had to change my strategy. I spent alot of the time on the track by myself because I had pitted early. It was impossible to have a pause and think about the gap from me to the rest, and work out whether i needed to push or what.

    You should be able to pause the game and look at everyones lap times, their gaps to you, how many times they’ve pitted, what tyre compound they’re on etc etc.

    Obviously this isn’t very realistic, but in real life the engineer gives all this information, which isn’t really possible in the game.

  32. Keith, can you confirm whether there’s replay save/load function? F1 2010 has the function but it’s very hard to use and troublesome.

    1. also I’m angry becuase they break their promises. I think SC is hard to introduce but why formation lap? it doesn’t make difference in game experience if they make it skip-able. I cannot understand…maybe they don’t know what option means.

    2. No idea, didn’t ask – will have a look when the finished version comes out.

  33. I still play a 2009 version on my “a little slow” computer, it’s made by EA sports. I don’t know if it’s official or not, but the images are good enough, I would say 90% realistic, with shadows, fire and stuff. And that game gives you the possibility to replay the game switching to another car… I love it, but I repeat, I don’t know if that game is official or not, and right now I’m looking forward to getting this year’s EA version

  34. In F1 2010, the inability for players to scroll through rival cars in replay mode to see how their race was progressing led to speculation that the races were being ‘faked’.

    This feature will not be in F1 2011 either. Mather said: “You still can’t scroll between the cars, but you can see their progress. The ability to swap between the cars is still, technically, very difficult to do.”

    However the developers say they understand the complaint and have made other changes to allow players to better appreciate the race going on around them:

    “It’s something we’ve given a lot of consideration because we felt exactly the same way about it,” says Mather.

    “Obviously in Formula 1 you can be out on your own, completely in the lead, it’s your race to win. But there’s somebody behind on a different strategy and in the end he bumps you down to third or fourth.

    Well, there you have it. Fall for it the first time, fair enough, but I don’t know how you could fall for this twice.

    1. I haven’t “fallen for” anything – this isn’t a review of the game because it isn’t out yet, I’m just reporting what he said.

      1. Sorry Keith, bad use of the word ‘you’ as I wasn’t referring to yourself or the site, I was trying to say that in general this issue, which was very obvious in the 2010 version, has clearly not been addressed correctly according to what has been stated by Codemasters in the above, and I don’t see why some people would fall for it again.

        1. You can’t say “it’s clearly not been addressed correctly” unless you’ve played the game. You can’t just *assume* the times are being faked. Give it a chance.

  35. I’m really looking forward to not buying this.

  36. F1 2010 was very poor IMO. And they seem to be repeating the same mistakes in F1 2011. I have better sense of speed, violent crashes bouncing through gravel and the ability to switch between on-board car cameras in replay mode in my EA F1 2002 demo!

  37. When you play career mode i really hope that they make it more realistic in the sense that after you finish the season, and re-sign with the same team that your teams finishing position is reflected in the location of your pit box, and I hope that they change the drivers around from team to team. I highly doubt that Schumaker will still be racing after 3 seasons in career mode.
    Another thing that would be nice is the ability to create and run your own team!
    F1 is the only sports game where you cant take a horrible team and make it better from year to year! it is very fustrating. Look at Red Bull for example. They were a joke a few years ago, and now they win every freaking race! If Codemasters can’t do this kind of stuff then I blame it all on Ecclstone… Let the fans have some fun old timer!

    1. I expect the FOM license does not allow other drivers, teams, or variance in performance. Licenses tend to be very strict these days, and FOM tend not to allow much creative license – which is understandable when they have a brand and subsidiary brands (the teams) to think about.

  38. Really excited about the co-op championship multiplayer element, me and my housemate will have a field day with that!

  39. If you read between the lines, what Lee Mathers is saying, is that F1 2011 isnt really that much different from F1 2010. There isnt anything to really shout about here and i said as much last year.
    Updated graphics, updated handling, updated fixes, all were expected as part of a routine update anyway. But where’s the stuff that people have really wanted? where’s the stuff that people have been crying out for on the forums all over the world? for example:
    safety car
    helmet editor
    warm up lap
    parade lap
    podium celebrations
    more interactive garage and pits?

    NONE of these have been mentioned in any interview i have seen with the developers, all they ever go on about are the updates which they are trying to smokescreen as “not a re-hash”, but im sorry, F1 2011 IS A RE-HASH! and a lot of what they have done here is simply fix the bugs that were in F1 2010.

    For example, the safety car. How many times have we heard (at least 3 years now) that “we dont think it will enhance the gameplay..if it does, we’ll put it in” NO…ffs!! are you not listening Codemasters???? the punters, who YOU are asking to part with a hefty wedge of cash for this, are DEMANDING, the safety car, its in F1, so put it in your game. It doesnt matter if it doesnt enhance the gameplay, you are totally missing the point that simply being behind it in the game, ENHANCES the gameplay, why cant you get this simple point? You lot arent stupid, so please grasp this simple, logical fact and put it in.
    Likewise with the warm up lap/parade lap, the same argument applies, you want us to Be the Driver, Life the Life, well a big part of that is living the environment, driving to the grid, the build up to the race, the parade lap…these are things that F1 drivers do. You are simply being lazy or are taking the moral high-ground by NOT including these in the game. Instead, from what ive seen so far, you have the same old animation of the driver exiting the garage then it fades to the grid…zzzzzzzzzz
    Helmet editor, cant be that difficult to implement, given how much editing can be done in the cars in Forza for years???

    Why doesnt Codemasters listen to their customers? people who want these things? why do individual human beings have to be so bl**dy ignorant and pigheaded, when the masses are asking for something?

    If the safety car isnt in F1 2011, i simply wont part with £40 for this. I am not buying an “Official Video Game” that i pretty much bought last year for a few updates.

  40. What happens to the tyre walls if you crash….can you crash like Perez at monaco????

  41. Scuderia Britalia Racing - Lucas "Mr. Veloce"
    21st July 2011, 20:57

    Hey Keith, I don’t know if this has been mentioned but has Codemasters have considered making Pirelli a team with their Toyota TF109 and make you their test driver and you help them make the Pirelli tyres and that would help you find attention from teams?

  42. Harpo F1 NUT
    1st August 2011, 16:31

    Just on the issue of safety cars, i’d like to add my tuppence…… I would have thought the best way to tackle the “issue” is to simply be allowed to turn the function on or off. Obviously, there is already a conspiricy theory regarding the AI cheating. Surely, if this function was allowed, this theory would only increase once you have been leading a race by 30 secs or more, get stuck behind safety car and finish 3rd or 4th…… Surely a no brainer.

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