The 2020 F1 Esports Pro series is underway!
While the exciting team rosters have caught most people’s eyes, something else has gone under the radar. This season’s competition is being run with 35% length races.
This might not seem revolutionary, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll notice that isn’t an option that’s available to players of F1 2020.
It doesn’t matter which game mode you’re on either, 25% or 50% are currently your closest options.
Why 35% is a game-changer
It’s difficult to say for sure, but it’s pretty safe to assume that the majority of races in F1 2020 are carried out at either 25% or 50% distance of a full Grand Prix.
The most popular is probably 50%, as it allows for tyre strategy to come into play without the race dragging on too long.
Of course, you do get some people doing shorter five lap races and the hardcore players going the full race distance.
It isn’t a surprise that Codies have made 35% the new race length for the esports tournament. In F1 2020, all 25% races are an easy 1-stop, so there isn’t any strategic variation at that length.
35% distance has led to some amazing strategic battles, with undercuts proving powerful in the short-term but the race is long enough to make it painful at the end.
We have seen drivers pull off alternate strategy masterstrokes, like Jarno Opmeer who currently leads the championship after winning two of the three opening races.
50% doesn’t work for everybody
25% doesn’t have the strategic variation that some players are looking for, so 50% is the current alternative for that.
50% races are usually around 45 minutes long and while that may not seem like a long time, there’s much more to a race weekend than the race itself.
If you compete in practice and qualifying as well, that’s usually around two hours total and could be up to two-and-a-half at circuits like Singapore.
Thankfully, mid-session saving has been in the F1 games for years now, so you don’t have to complete the race in one sitting.
It does ruin the immersion a bit when you have to do this though, it’s not like F1 drivers can pause the race, go to the shops, then pick up exactly where they left off.
But how long would a 35% race be exactly?
Full list of 35% races
If you’re wondering how many laps long the 35% races will be in F1 2020, we’ve calculated a list for this year's original 22-race calendar:
|Australia||Albert Park, Melbourne||21|
|Spain||Circuit de Catalunya||24|
|Austria||Red Bull Ring||25|
|Abu Dhabi||Yas Marina||20|
So, in general, races will be around 20 laps long at 35% distance. This is opposed to around 15 laps at 25% distance and 30 laps at 50% length.
Of course, each lap and race are different timewise, but 35% races will last around 30 minutes, depending on Safety Car periods.
It’s obvious that Codemasters can add this into F1 2020, as the esports racers are competing at this distance. There’s no real downside to this either, if people don’t like 35% races, they won’t play them, it’s as simple as that.
However, we think that it will be a big success and something to keep F1 2020 fresh after it’s been out for over three months now.