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F1 2020 will likely have us racing before the real thing

Time was we’d whine like a V6 hybrid that Codemasters’ official F1 game would come too late into the season that it simulated, so I guess we should be pleased that this year it’s going to have the honour of coming out before this year’s championship has even begun – if it happens at all, that is. Given current events, it’s remarkable that Codemasters is on target to get F1 2020 out in a couple of months time on July 10th – coinciding, if things go to plan, with the belated start of the season in Austria on July 5th – and it looks like another solid entry it’s what fast become one of my favourite racing game series.

The improvements are incremental, as you’d expect while we’re on the cusp of a new generation, but this isn’t exactly the slap in the face that the mediocre F1 2014 was last time we entered a transition between consoles. The messy situation of how closely F1 2020 will replicate a season that’s still very much a moving target is by the by. The 22 circuits from the original 2020 calendar will feature, so you’ll get to run Hanoi’s all-new track before a wheel was ever turned there in anger – alongside the full supporting F2 championship, with F1 2020 shipping with the 2019 version of the feeder series before the updated 2020 teams and drivers are added in a later patch.

The headline addition is My Team, a new management option that lets you take charge of an eleventh team on the grid and that arrives with a full suite of features. It’s got everything you’d expect of a half-decent management game, essentially – you sign a primary sponsor, select a power unit from either Renault, Honda, Ferrari or Mercedes and then hire some young guns from the pool of F2 drivers, with an eye on maybe recruiting some established F1 names further down the road. You manage your facilities, finances and contracts, and see those same facilities get spruced up as they reflect your progress.

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