The 2020 Formula One season is yet to get underway, what with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the world. In an unprecedented situation, the official F1 video game may progress faster than the 2020 F1 season. Furthermore, the game will feature all 22 tracks, unlike the real F1 season.
2020 marketed itself as a record-breaking season, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive disruption to the calendar. F1 got hit hard with the cancellation/postponement of the opening eight races. Sadly for fans, there is no chance of witnessing the Australian and Monaco grands prix live. However, gamers have a chance to race on both circuits despite their absence from the real schedule.
“We’re still going to go with all 22 circuits which were originally part of the calendar,” Codemasters F1 franchise director Paul Jeal told RaceFans in an exclusive interview.
Furthermore, gamers have the opportunity to experience the Hanoi and Zandvoort circuits before the F1 drivers. So, the only way that drivers can learn the circuit is through the game.
The British-based game developers were preparing to announce the first details of F1 2020 when the country went into lockdown due to the pandemic, forcing its staff to work from home.
“The most prudent thing to do is obviously just to see whether the impact of this is going to do anything,” said Jeal. “Some of the teams, for example, [are] going on their shutdown period now rather than what they would have done in August. It’s just a few little bits of that which you’ve got to factor into your planning, which wasn’t there originally. Hopefully it’s not too much longer before we before we make the announcement.”
F1 2019 was a bit of a game-changer when it dropped last year. Aside from the usual elements like post-race interviews and personality-based questions, Codemasters put in a bit more effort. The developers incorporated the FIA Formula 2 season into the game and even added a mini-story mode.
Over here, the player starts off in F1 alongside two NPCs, teammate Lukas Weber and rival Devon Butler. All three characters interact and try to influence the character’s personality. Furthermore, Codemasters raised the stakes when F1 2019 offered in-season transfers. Here, the F1 driver avatars can swap teams if they wanted.
So, if you wanted to see Lewis Hamilton in any other car than Mercedes, here’s your chance. Even something far-fetched like Max Verstappen partnering Sebastian Vettel at McLaren, or Nico Hulkenberg partnering Kimi Raikkonen at Red Bull, nothing is far out there.