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. Dwight_js said on 15th July 2013, 17:40

    I tried f1 2011 but I gave up on it. Too many game breaking bugs, like pitting and having worn tires fitted when there is a fresh set still available, mandatory nose change in the pits even if you just have minor damage, etc. And it took ages for patches to be issued, if they came at all. Also didn’t like the Codemasters forum experience. If you made a suggestion for what you would like to see in the game (like more car control during pit stops, or a formation lap) a Codie’s staff would come on and shoot you down saying the idea was boring or would add nothing to the experience. Just a little too arrogant for my taste. The other thing was that the handling of the cars seemed too watered down in a way. I never really felt like I was learning anything about driving a high-powered race car. I’ve found there are a few other sims out there that let you use more involved driving techniques to control the cars. Even though they don’t have the F1 license, they give a much better driving experience in their formula car equivalents.

  2. BJ (@beejis60) said on 15th July 2013, 17:49

    Shame we can’t get the Lotus 78 or even the cool ‘experimental’ cars like the 88 and/or fan car in this game. Maybe in due time.

  3. xivizmath (@xivizmath) said on 15th July 2013, 18:38

    Not sim enough.

    Where’s rFactor 2 and GTR3, folks?

    • @xivizmath I’ve been wondering the same thing. Project CARS is a hope giver tho’ and that’s due to be out next year.

    • Jonny Edwards (@racectrl) said on 15th July 2013, 23:43

      You’ve been able to buy rfactor 2 for months now, albeit still in beta stage but its fully functionally and plenty of servers/racers online to race against along with loads of content. It can’t be far off a full release now but its gona cost you the same if you buy it now or later so may as well jump aboard now.

      p.s. i don’t care what codemaster releases as they have proven to be incompetent when it comes to physics.

  4. Rehan said on 15th July 2013, 18:57

    umm… what about that driver, Senna and that car he used to drive, the McLaren Honda. Introducing a game without the mention of these two legends is not really promising. And maybe for the future, bring more vintage cars from the 70′s and earlier like the soon to be famous again James Hunts’ McLaren M23 and Laudas’ Ferrari 312T.

  5. Droid Damudi (@droiddamudi) said on 15th July 2013, 18:57

    I’m i the only one who miss GP4?

    I love Codemaster Grid, i love the physics. But i don’t think F1 2011( which i played) is good experience in current time as GP4 was during 02.

    I really like some aspect of GP4 and heated some of it, but it was such a nice F1 simulation game of that era. CodeMaster F1 doesn’t give me that vibe. Sure it good overall but GP4 was something else.

    Those were the days, i used to play GP4 for hours on full race distance including fine tuning setup in practice, It was exhilarating to master particular circuit then increasing difficulty level for next challenge.

    I love the idea of classic car and tracks, but they should have included those glorious v10 engines of 2004.

    Definitely going to play this one out along with Grid2.

  6. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 15th July 2013, 19:06

    To be honest, I’ve never felt that the penalty system was a major issue. Even in “quick match mode” I’ve only felt hard done by once or twice in the many hundreds of occasions I’ve played it.

    Although I am excited by the prospect of classic cars, it’s never been on top of my wishlist. I keep thinking back to the “F1 Career Challenge” game from 10 years ago, and even though it was a pioneer in the idea of a “career” mode, its realism has never been matched. The idea of racing for several seasons (1999 through 2002) with the grid and calendar changing year on year made for one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences I can remember.

    I think it would be excellent if, now that Codemasters have the rights to several Formula 1 seasons under their belt, they could redo this idea.

    For instance, career mode would begin with one of the “new” teams at the start of 2010 – and the player would progress through to the current season amid changes to rival competitiveness, driver lineup, rules, etc., as well as mid-season changes. I recall in F1 Career Challenge, there being events such as Michael Schumacher being replaced mid-1999 by Mika Salo, and Arrows dropping out mid-2002. I can’t think of any F1 game that has done anything like that, and I reckon it’d be excellent if Codemasters did it.

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 15th July 2013, 22:16

      That would be brilliant. Codemasters did actually release F1 2009 as well but that was just for Wii and PSP. 2009 or 2010-2013 would give you a good amount of time to progress in career mode as well. It’s a pity they didn’t get the F1 deal before. I will always be disappointed that there were no 2007 or 2008 games.

  7. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 15th July 2013, 19:13

    Odd that they’d feature ANY Ferraris of the ’80s or ’90s but no McLarens or Benettons. Sounds more like the game is being designed for fans of Ferrari, rather than fans of the sport… which by the way, are mutually exclusive. ;-)

    • Gordo said on 15th July 2013, 19:17

      Yep. See my comment about the absent MP 4/4…

    • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 15th July 2013, 19:23

      It’s all about licensing, maybe McLaren doesn’t want any of their old cars featured?

      • @Fisha695

        I doubt that. Codies had no issue with purchasing the licence for the MP4-12C and the GT3 version of it for GRID 2. It’s probably something they want to keep from the fans right now / the art department might still be working on at the moment. I bet they’ll be in the finished game or at least be scheduled for later release through a McLaren Pack DLC (just like the one they released for GRID2).

        • Gordo said on 15th July 2013, 22:05

          I sure hope so. Not having the MP 4/4 would be one of the top cars of all time by most F1 fans’ standards.

        • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 15th July 2013, 22:26

          Steve Hood said on his Twitter account that it is due to another company (it could be really obvious to some but I don’t play other racing sims) having the rights to historic McLaren racers at the moment. I, like many, really hope in time that we can have some classic McLarens (like the MP4/4, MP4/13, and MP4-23).

        • CarnivorousPope (@) said on 15th July 2013, 23:47

          I don’t know about mclaren but i know the senna license is held by another games company. and so codies couldn’t get him

  8. Gordo said on 15th July 2013, 19:16

    The MP 4/4 is conspicuous by its absence. Maybe it’s one to be announced later? I hope so. A car that won 15 of 16 races is pretty significant.

    • Sergio Perez (@sergio-perez) said on 16th July 2013, 9:43

      I’m sure it will come. From the interviews online you can clearly see they are more than eager to announce something. They Already said Prost, Mansell, Villeneuve, Berger… Who else do you think deserves a separate reveal? There can be only one.

  9. obviously said on 15th July 2013, 19:32

    I wish they’d just updated the graphics and physics engine of GP4, with new teams and drivers, too, of course.
    F1 2010 was the biggest letdown ever and I never even bothered with 2011 and 2012. If there are F1 fans who are gamers, they want hard core simulation, not some arcade-ish half effort.
    Not to mention the lack of control, saves menus etc, where the game is treating me like I’m some guest on a console in an arcade club, on my own damn computer. I like some more input with my games, thank you very much.

  10. sato113 (@sato113) said on 15th July 2013, 19:36

    CONFIRMED: Senna will not be included as one of the classic drivers. ***

  11. I still feel they haven’t really portrayed F1 handling and also they could give us a better sim and arcade mode like the MotoGP games, and there’s the bug issues. Nevertheless I think it is great they have been able to add old cars, I hope they don’t charge more for them because honestly F1 is an yearly title they must always focus on the new game or just make an classic separate game, if that’s the case I’ll make a request for a Ferrari 412T2 and a 642 to really make my list of favourite Ferraris with my favourite car ever the F399, some brabhams would be nice and of course the lotus 25 and Maybe the Mp4/13. What i don’t understand is why have the retirement prone FW12 judd Williams when the FW11 was so successful and so was the FW13, my only guess is that the Fw12 was that so much beautiful than the Fw13 but the car that demolished those couple year was a McLaren.

  12. F1_Dave_E said on 15th July 2013, 21:27

    i’ll be skipping this one, own 2010-2012 & while 2011 was fairly good the 2010/2012 were garbage, handling & physics in both were terrible.

    I’ve also spotted a few areas of the circuits i’ve seen so far that are not as accurate as they could be.

    The final NGK chicane at Nurburgring has more elevation in the game than in reality & also looks tighter than it actually is, The game also seems to feature bumps in the middle of it that are not there in real life.

    Also seen some other preview videos where things like camber, elevation & corner radium didn’t look as they are in reality.
    Been fair however thats been an issue since there 2010 game.

    And i’ve also spotted that the old versions of the tracks feature modern flat kurbing. The version of jerez thats in the game for instance should feature old style high kurbing you don’t want to touch, yet in the game the kurbs are totally flat like 2013 style kurbing.
    May not be a massive issue to some, but if your going for authenticity & spending time bringing classic content, at least ensure its 100% accurate.

    Some of the in-game car models i’ve seen also look a bit off, Although again thats been an issue since 2010.

  13. Jonathan (@themaninblack) said on 15th July 2013, 21:39

    Awesome!!! I didn’t even think they were coming out with another F1 game… I had heard they were going out of business or lost the F1 rights or something. Glad to see that was either just a rumor or doesn’t go into effect until 2014.

    This is just what the series needs [after reducing the number of game breaking bugs by about 10,000x]. Please, please, please give us all what we want and include the Nurburgring Nordschleife as a driveable track – that would be so incredibly badass to finally be able to drive in an F1 car. It would be even more badass if we could tackle it in a 70′s Ferrari 312B! Oh please, Codemasters, have mercy upon us. Let us relive one of the greatest decades of Formula 1 on a track that’s too dangerous for real life but still infinitely awesome in every way. The ‘Ring is made for this… it would be a royal shame not to include it here. You can do it, Codemasters… I believe in you!

  14. LosD (@losd) said on 15th July 2013, 22:08

    Wrong extra tracks: I’d much rather have Turkey, Hockenheimring and Indianapolis. Two of them should even be easy for the to convert since they were in the previous games.

    Oh, and the pre-Tilke Fuji.

    … And of course classic Senna cars, although I don’t really care much about that part. More tracks are certainly more interesting than a (probably*) bad simulation of how earlier cars handled.

    * Not that I think their current simulation is really all that bad. It is no iRacing or RFactor, but it’s ok. It is just that it is probably exactly the same simulated car with a few parameters tweaked to decrease/increase downforce and change tyre wear. I could be wrong (I hope I’m wrong) though.

  15. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th July 2013, 22:28

    Colour me disappointed. The selection of classic cars is nice, but the circuits leave a lot to be desired. Imola and Brands are great, but Estoril and Jerez are just boring.

    • CarnivorousPope (@) said on 15th July 2013, 23:53

      once you are lapping perfectly and so long as the AI is improved as they are making out I’m sure you will be having loads of fun whatever the circuit may be

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th July 2013, 9:29

        @carnivorouspope – I just think they’re really poor choices. Imola is good, and Brands Hatch isn’t bad, but Estoril and Jerez leave a lot to be desired. I’m much rather Codemasters included the likes of the old Kyalami, the Osterreichring, Long Beach and the old Buenois Aires (all of which were used in the 1980s, thus satisfying Codemasters’ logic in chooing circuits) before they considered Estoril and Jerez.

    • PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 15th July 2013, 23:53

      I think Jerez is nice

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