Codemasters add retro cars and tracks to F1 2013

F1 Game

Codemasters F1 2013 Work in progress screenshot: 1988 Williams-Judd FW12By their own admission, one of the main aims of Codemasters for the first three years of producing their F1 series was to secure the exclusive rights to make the official games into 2014 and beyond. Once that was achieved, they said, they would be able to make bigger, better and more exciting games.

So what does F1 2013 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ the first new game since Codemasters received that all-important rights extension from Bernie Ecclestone ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ have to offer the sport’s millions of fans around the world that previous games did not?

The answer is the most exciting new addition to the series to date. And by ‘new’, I should really say ‘old’.

Classic mode

Yes, the fans’ most requested feature ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ classic grand prix cars ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ is the major new addition to the official F1 game series for this year. And Codemasters envisage it being a much more extensive offering than what was found in previous official games which included older cars, such as Sony’s 2007 release Formula One: Championship Edition.

Instead of throwing random cars from F1 history into the game Codemasters have focused on two decades that will likely strike the most nostalgic chords with their target audience ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ the eighties and nineties. The Classic mode is split between the two decades and allows players to jump behind the wheel of five classic cars from the eighties and nineties.

The first batch of cars includes the 1988 Lotus 100T (pictured top), Williams cars such as Alan Jones?σΤιΌΤδσs FW07 and some yet-to-be-announced Ferraris. Screenshots also suggest the 1988 Williams-Judd FW12 will feature.

A further six classic Williams and Ferrari cars from the nineties are on offer including Nigel Mansell?σΤιΌΤδσs 1992 championship winning FW14B, Damon Hill?σΤιΌΤδσs FW18 from 1996 and the Ferrari F399 as driven by Eddie Irvine to the runner-up spot in 1999. Advertising restrictions mean they are depicted in non-tobacco liveries.

While some may have hoped for a greater number and wider variety of vehicles, that will likely be forgotten once players reintroduce these retired greats to the race track once again. And with classic cars come classic circuits as Codemasters will include fully modelled retro versions of Jerez, Brands Hatch, Imola and Estoril to drive in the game ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ all in their classic 1980s and 1990s glory without a single chicane, tarmac run-off or DRS zone in sight.

Codemasters F1 2013 Work in progress screenshot: 1988 Williams-Judd FW12With fat tyres, less aerodynamic efficiency and – in some cases – screaming turbo engines, the classics are tremendous fun and require real roughneck driving to lower lap times. The FW07B and 100T can be thrown into the corners like over-sized, over-powered go-karts as you feel the car starting to slide at the limit of adhesion. While the FW14B has all the phenomenal mechanical grip and stability you?σΤιΌΤδσd expect from a car famed for its advanced active suspension system. Hanging a Lotus 100T on the ragged edge through the high-speed turns of pre-chicane Jerez bathed in beautiful lighting with the whine of the turbo engine as it kicks through the gears is immensely satisfying.

The Classic mode is littered with small touches that will no doubt be appreciated by hardcore F1 fans. The heads-up display for the eighties cars has been redesigned to reflect the basic yellow graphics overlay from F1 broadcasts of the time (if you?σΤιΌΤδσve seen the film Senna you?σΤιΌΤδσll recognise them). The HUD for nineties cars has been designed as a homage to the blue and yellow overlay graphics that were used in FOM?σΤιΌΤδσs digital coverage of the sport from the late 1990s to 2002.

Each car has a unique tachometer, working cockpit views with basic LED rev counters and both gear and brake-balance changing animations. While the 2013 cars sit in modern pit areas with laptops and monitors on the main home screen, enter Classic mode and the cars sit in old-style garages surrounded by toolboxes. Players will also be introduced to the mode in a series of videos narrated by the iconic voice of Murray Walker, which adds immensely to its nostalgic appeal.

But the best news about the Classic mode isn?σΤιΌΤδσt that players will get to drive the cars ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ but that they?σΤιΌΤδσll also get to race them. Properly. All cars can be raced in a variety of modes, both online and offline, including Grand Prix mode, Quick Race, in a custom championship as well as in online and split-screen multiplayer.

One disappointing limitation is that players are forbidden from mixing cars from different eras ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ so no pitting a Williams FW07 against an FW14B or this year?σΤιΌΤδσs Ferrari against its 1999 ancestor. However players will be able to drive and race any car ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1980s, 1990s and 2013 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ on any circuit, modern or classic.

The identities of several famous past racers also appear: Nigel Mansell, Mario Andretti and Gerhard Berger are the first of ten Formula One greats who players can race against in 1980s cars while Alain Prost, David Coulthard, Jacques Villeneuve and Eddie Irvine have been announced as the first confirmed drivers in 1990s cars. Expect more big names to be announced as the game nears its autumn release.

In a first for Codemasters’ F1 titles, this year’s game will be released in two editions. The standard version will include the 1980s cars plus Jerez and Brands Hatch circuits, with the 1990s cars, Imola and Estoril available to purchase via download after release. F1 2013 Classic Edition features all the classic cars and tracks.

The 2013 game

Those expecting revolutionary changes to the real meat of the game ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ the 2013 season ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ will likely be disappointed. The core experience to be had in F1 2013 seems little changed from previous editions, aside from all the expected team, driver and track updates.

Car setup parameters, options, cameras, menu system and game modes remain virtually identical to 2012, A new addition to the Proving Grounds mode is yet to be detailed. As far as the main career mode is concerned, no mention has been made yet of any significant changes and while it is claimed the Young Driver Test tutorial mode at the Yas Marina circuit has been expanded, it?σΤιΌΤδσs not yet known how.

Handling feels similar but refined compared to last year. Even with no driving assists and the use of an Xbox 360 controller, it was relatively easy to push from the very first lap of the game around Silverstone in Time Trial mode in Nico Hulkenberg?σΤιΌΤδσs Sauber without spinning. With a Fanatec wheel and pedals set-up the handling felt precise and fun, but no more challenging or removed from 2012. Unfortunately, it still seems at this early stage as though unrealistically extreme setups ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ ultra-low ride heights and super-stiff springs ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ offer the best reduction in lap times with minimal impact on balance.

Codemasters F1 2013 Work in progress screenshotWhile it?σΤιΌΤδσs easy to assume this means Codemasters have put all their efforts into the classic mode for this year and neglected the 2013 experience, there are certainly some positive additions to the 2013 aspect of the game. In a welcome move, cockpit mirrors have an increased depth of vision ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ meaning they are now actually useful, whilst players now have the option to save mid-session, which will surely please 100% race distance enthusiasts. In an attempt to improve AI balancing in single player, F1 2013 now has five difficulty settings ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ Amateur, Intermediate, Professional, Expert and Legend ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ each with its own AI speed level to suit.

Tyre wear scaling to race distance makes a return to the series, as does the ability to race a full or custom championship season with any licensed driver in Grand Prix mode. Codemasters claim to have improved the penalty system – which had been criticised by some – and AI driver aggression, making your computer rivals more inclined to attack you. However the demonstration builds that were tested were locked to Time Trial mode, so we’ll have to wait for the finished product to see how successful they have been.

The game?σΤιΌΤδσs audio has been also been improved, with the addition of a satisfying gearbox backfire sound under downshifting and higher-pitched external engine sounds making the cars sound more pleasant when passing. In terms of the online experience, players should not expect anything too different from what they are used to already, although hosts do now have the ability to turn off the penalty system in races ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ which will surely be music to the ears of those who organise online championships.

With more to be announced as the game nears release, this is likely to prove the most hotly-anticipated Codemasters F1 game since they took over the franchise. We await the arrival of definitive game eager to discover whether the addition of old-style cars and tracks is what Codemasters needed to breathe new life into their exclusive F1 game series.

F1 2013 screenshots

F1 2013 versions at a glance

F1 2013 Classic Edition PS3Release date: TBC (Autumn)
Formats (both editions): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC

F1 2013: Classic Edition

  • Limited edition release
  • 1980s pack ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ ten former drivers including Mansell, Andretti and Berger with more to be announced, five classic cars, Circuito De Jerez and Brands Hatch
  • 1990s pack ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ former drivers including Coulthard, Villeneuve, Irvine and Prost with more to be announced and six classic cars
  • Classic Tracks pack: Imola and Estoril
  • Full 2013 season content

F1 2013

  • 1980s pack ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ ten former drivers including Mansell, Andretti and Berger with more to be announced, five classic cars, Circuito De Jerez and Brands Hatch
  • Full 2013 season content
  • 1990s pack and Classic Tracks pack available as paid download soon after release

Pre-order F1 2013

Pre-order F1 2013 Classic Edition (PS3)

Pre-order F1 2013 Classic Edition (Xbox 360)

Pre-order F1 2013 (PS3)

Pre-order F1 2013 (Xbox 360)

Pre-order F1 2013 (PC)

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95 comments on Codemasters add retro cars and tracks to F1 2013

  1. Itchy said on 15th July 2013, 15:24

    Don’t think I’ll bother I bought 2010 – was ok and the racing was good, but as a game not fun to play. Bought 2011 and apart from playing online with friends, rarely wanted to play. Didn’t bother with 2012, and this looks like the same game again. A real shame, Codemasters used to be awesome in the TOCA days. Grid2 is awful.

  2. Kneyfield said on 15th July 2013, 15:45

    As someone who prefers some realism in simulation aspects of the game – which doesn’t necessarily mean, that a realistic handling is a must have, because I’m talking about things like AI drivers, tyre degradation, tyre temperatures, weather and track evolution, etc – I have been left disappointed by the follow-up releases F1 2011 and 2012. Codemasters proved with both of those games, that the core weaknesses of their first game were hardly touched on.

    The way this preview reads, I have my doubts, that this will change for F1 2013. A new classics modus sounds great really, but what good is that, when the main part of the game, pariticipating in the driver’s championship for a full season or several, only brings frustration?

  3. Jason Norwood (@hugo-the-rabbit) said on 15th July 2013, 15:50

    I just wish they would release the game at the start of the season. I spent Β£40 last year on the game and within minutes the game is out of date. Fifa games come out just after the season starts not when they are about to end and get updated every week so you play with the most recent squad. I am sure an F1 game can be like that so you can play on the Monday after a race and the cars have all the updates and performace that we will have seen the day before?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th July 2013, 22:50


      I just wish they would release the game at the start of the season.

      As in, they should have released the game with the 2013 drivers and teams in March? That’s a terrible idea – we don’t even know now how competitive the teams and drivers will be over the second half of the season, never mind four months ago.

      • ^Mo^ said on 15th July 2013, 23:14

        @keithcollantine I can’t imagine they cannot build in some kind of update system that allows gamers to update all variables over the course of a season. It might actually make it more realistic, because teams improve as well.

        I don’t think it’s such a terrible idea. They’re releasing the game now with most of the season done. They can barely add the 2013 label! But they can keep milking this cash cow for now, just hope it won’t end up working against them.

      • Jason Norwood (@hugo-the-rabbit) said on 16th July 2013, 9:56

        Yes that would be much better. I bought the 2012 game in September I think and it was already out of date with Lewis Hamilton confirming he is moving teams. So I spend £40 on a game that is effectively out of date in two months. That is why I use Fifa as an example. If I buy Fifa the teams always change when ever you update the game. It is much more real time play and gives better value for money, even now the football season is over I can still up date all the teams with the latest players they have signed. In the F1 game it is all based on last year. I have to wait till the season is 3/4 done before I can get an up to date game again. And by the time I do get the game it will already be wrong because the drivers aren’t the same. I don’t think you get the best value for money with F1 games.

      • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 16th July 2013, 22:24

        Motorsports games involving real series usually always come out past the halfway point of the season.

  4. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 15th July 2013, 15:57

    I am pleased to hear that they have reintroduced Grand Prix mode so you can actually race with an F1 driver in an F1 season! The penalty system really does have to be better this year because on 2012, while not trying to sound harsh, it was an absolute joke. A more aggressive AI is pleasing, and the classic content sounds good to me (although I wish they had 2000s content as well, like the MP4-23).

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 15th July 2013, 16:02

    I tried F1 2011 and couldn’t feel less excited about it. Plain boring. And very annoying to set up with a jostickon PC. You MUST have a wheel, and it’s not worth it. If you have a wheel and a PC good enough to run a Codemasters game, you might well get rFactor, GTR and the lot… which are by far better racing games.

    And if you want arcade-ish games, then it doesn’t fullfil either.

    At least they are trying with this. Honestly, getting the rights for old cars, sponsors and stuff must be a pain in the… but will probably be worth it, and they should expand it. Afterall, seasonal games are not that successful unless they really change from one year to another, and these last 3 games have been reasonably similar to one another.

    Worse with racing games that are more or less already well implemented (steering wheel, 2 pedals, shifter, job done), in contrast to FIFA or PES that keep making more and more complicated controls because there’s a lot more complexity in controlling 11 players at the same time, and even so you still think twice to get FIFA 2013 because you already have FIFA 2012.

  6. minnis (@minnis) said on 15th July 2013, 16:16

    Glad they’ve added a new difficulty. In my torro rosso career, I’m either 1st by a long way on intermediate, or if I up the difficulty, I’m dead last unless I spend ages tweaking the setup etc and then I’ll just about be able to scape a point or two if I push like hell for the whole race. And sometimes I just don’t want the hassle.

  7. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 15th July 2013, 16:22

    I’v owned every copy so far and enjoyed each one. Sure there have been severeal bugs and some weird choises concerning tyre wear and certain physics. But when my wheel is set up perfectly and with some practice I’ve had a cracking time with these games, so yes I will most definitely ordering this one.

    Face it Codemasters have built the best F1 games in history, no they are not perfect but what game is?

    • Kneyfield said on 15th July 2013, 16:45

      Face it Codemasters have built the best F1 games in history, no they are not perfect but what game is?

      As someone, who has had first-hand experience with formula 1 games for about fifteen years now, I have to dispute that.

      Yes, today’s Formula 1 games from Codemasters may be better in a straight-up comparison with the best classic titles (Grand Prix 3 anyone?), but that’s hardly a fair comparison.

      More computational power provides endless opportunities for developers and the early games had comparatively little of that. Back in 2000 when Grand Prix 3 was released, the top desktop computers came equipped with a Pentium III processor, that just about scraped the 1GHz mark. Nowadays, many modern gaming computers are powered by quad cores with speeds of 3GHz and more and a significantly higher IPC (instructions per cycle) power on top of that.

      To make a long story short, fifteen years ago, developers didn’t have a lot of computation power to waste on better artificial intelligence, better physical calculations or even better and higher resolution graphics for that matter. Now they do, so shouldn’t our expectations be that much higher as well?

      All that said, Grand Prix 3 was a much better game in the year 2000 than F1 2010, 2011 or 2012 are today.

      • scratt (@scratt) said on 15th July 2013, 20:17


        The game breaking bugs, retarded AI, and crazy penalties have broken pretty much every F1 game Codemasters have put out.

        Love the idea of classic cars etc. but I wish they had pushed that back a year and focussed on getting the actual game right this year.

  8. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 15th July 2013, 16:26

    On a second note. No doubt they want to add more cars trough DLC, I’m just hoping that it won’t be overpriced like most of the DLC out there. Maybe some cars from the 60’s and 70’s and even the 00′ years (21st century)

  9. Dan (@rcrider13) said on 15th July 2013, 16:30

    I wonder how “limited” the Classic edition will be. How much more am I going to have to shell out for it too?

    • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 15th July 2013, 16:38

      Meh just wait 4 months and you’ll be able to get the yet to be announced “Complete Edition” that includes all the DLC & patches up until that time and instead of being $60 +DLC costs or $80+ for the Classic Edition you’ll instead be able to get the Complete Edition for like $40. l0l

      • Nick (@npf1) said on 15th July 2013, 21:41

        I’ve noted games take longer and longer to release cheaper ‘complete’ editions. Heck, I saw Doom 3 + the old ones on sale for 60 euros a while ago, and F1 2012 is still going for 45 new here too.

        I’ll just stick with the F1 2010 I got from a friend and the occasional Grand Prix 4.

  10. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 15th July 2013, 16:32

    I would rather see them get the GP2 & GP3 rights from Bernie so we could have a proper career mode where you have to actually work your way up. Classic cars & tracks are nice but there are way better games with way better variety & customization options already existing if I want to play with classic F1 cars.

  11. James (@jaymz) said on 15th July 2013, 16:35

    No classic McLaren? There was plenty to choose from. Codemasters suck.

  12. Fixy (@fixy) said on 15th July 2013, 16:38

    I was wondering: “Why should I need a new game with old cars that I’ve driven for ages on F1 Challenge (and there are other games to do so)? What’s new?” And then I read the HUD was different and looked like the original one! But then I thought: “So did the one on F1 Challenge”, and I realised I don’t need anything new as long as there isn’t anything less. Of course the graphics are better, the sounds and overall detail are better so driving classic cars should be nicer.
    But what about the Jordan 191 (if it isn’t announced later)? Why can’t I drive as Badoer in 1991? Is it really worth buying, when all you have is a quarter of a full game? Why buy a F1 2013 title when you do so for classic cars? Why not release F1 2013 and F1 ’80s and F1 ’90s separately? I don’t think there was much to add to F1 2012, apart from the usual details which are updated from season to season there was no big problem as long as bugs are fixed. I don’t need new features, new cars and tracks are fine for me, but now I feel like the classic cars have taken efforts away from the fundamental part of the game. If they put real 2013-like LG graphics overlay then I’ll buy it 100% though (I know, I’m a perfectionist)!

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 15th July 2013, 16:51

      LG graphics overlay is something I would also like to see. When Sony produced the games, they had TV-like overlay (Siemens and Tag Heuer I think it was), TV commentary, and the ability to switch between drivers in replays. Although Codemasters aim more towards being the driver, not spectator, I do miss all of those features.

  13. R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 15th July 2013, 17:01

    If they wanted a truly authentic 1990s gaming experience, though, Jacques Villeneuve wouldn’t be in this game, and his place would be taken by either of his non-union stand-ins, John Newhouse or Driver Williams.

  14. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 15th July 2013, 17:01

    AI driver aggression, making your computer rivals more inclined to attack you.

    I hope Codemasters are basing the AI driver aggression on real-life experiences during the race or a driver’s driving style, so an example to illustrate would be a Grosjean, Perez or Hamilton showing more aggression when attacking than a Button or Kimi would. If not, then perhaps maybe the driver aggression system being centred on the scenario they’re placed in at the time racing so another example would be the drivers pushing harder to go quicker towards the end of their stint (that’s if the longevity of their tyres enable them to).

    • LosD (@losd) said on 15th July 2013, 21:57

      Or Kimi? Kimi attacks like a viper. Get out of the way, or lose a wheel.

      Often it looks like a complete bonkers move, but he almost always gets it right (except when Perez refuses to concede he lost).

      When defending, it is another matter: If he lost, he lost. I haven’t seen many panic moves to avoid being overtaken.

  15. tmekt (@tmekt) said on 15th July 2013, 17:01

    Only a handful of classic cars and tracks. I smell a lot of expensive DLC coming…

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