The addition of Formula 2 is a huge step in the right direction for the official Formula 1 game, so much so that we included it as one of the main reasons buy Codemasters' latest entry. The F2 cars are obviously slower than the 2019 F1 cars, but the junior cars offer a unique challenge that both amateurs and experienced gamers can enjoy.
The first part of this year's Career Mode takes place in the 2018 F2 season and you'll be thrown right into the action as a prologue to F1, so here's how to optimise your performance and know what to expect.
F1 2019 hits the shelves on 28 June, 2019, with early access available via the Legends Edition on 25 June, 2019. You can see our review of the game here.
Driving Style Differences
Formula 2 cars may have less horsepower than their F1 equivalents, but I found that accelerating out of slow corners was actually harder to manage without Traction Control. This doesn't only effect your grip coming out of slow corners, but also the starts, where I've consistently been mugged going into Turn 1.
Ironically, one of the main differences between the series is that the F2 cars are all identical, there are no performance differences between teams like there are in F1. This makes the races more competitive, any driver in any car can win and we'll go into more detail about that shortly.
There are also no options for fuel mode and no ERS to worry about, so driving them in that sense at least, is considerably easier. Driving a racing car as fast as possible while also alternating its settings takes a lot of practice, so the F2 cars are a good place to start. What's also easier is that F2 cars have six gears compared to F1's eight, so if you're learning how to drive with a manual gearbox, these are a good car to choose.
Driving these F2 cars is an ideal way for someone who is new to the Codemasters F1 franchise, as they're solely about driving as fast as possible rather than strategy. Don't feel like they're easy, though, as the AI are just as aggressive as their F1 equivalents, being extremely aggressive on the higher difficulties.
The Race Weekend
You don't complete a full racing weekend for F2 in career mode, but there is a tournament within the game you can take part in or create your own Formula 2 season in Grand Prix mode. Each weekend is made up of two races, the feature and the sprint, each about half the length of an F1 Grand Prix. The different races also have different points awarded, for example, only the top 8 earn points in the sprint race. Because of the shorter distances, the feature races are always a 1-stop, whereas the sprint races don't have any stops at all. This means that mistakes are more costly and tyre conservation are arguably more important than in F1.
Career Mode Scenarios
After choosing which F2 team you wish to drive for, (all 10 from 2018 are available to you) you're thrown straight into the action at the Circuit de Catalunya. As explained in a cut-scene, you were leading the race for the majority of the distance, before a turbo issue sent you down multiple places. Your car normalises once again (albeit with a deficit on top end speed), but now your teammate - Lukas Weber - is right behind you and demands to get past. You are faced with your choice, play the team game and let Weber through or attempt to hold off the chasing pack against the wishes of the team.
The second F2 stage is set in Austria, where after an incident with your championship rival - Devon Butler - you're racing outside the points and desperately trying to catch up to Butler after his penalty. It's effectively Schumacher in Hungary '98, as many qualifying laps as you can manage in a damage limitation job.
The final of three parts takes place during the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi. Because of the championship standings, whoever finishes ahead out of yourself and Butler wins the driver's title. It's a full F2 sprint race and a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding challenge, I really enjoyed this one. From there, all three drivers mentioned go into F1 and the sky's the limit from there.
We're very excited to see how this story evolves and so should you, as your choices and performances directly affect what happens after, exactly like an RPG.
How do you feel about the F2 cars? Are you excited to try them? Let us know in the comments below!