F1 2019: Final car models & night lighting

This will be the most visually stunning F1 game yet. What have Codemasters got in store for us now?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

F1 2019 is just around the corner. We were given a preview by Codemasters last week and it feels terrific, but we couldn’t explore the whole game. Thankfully Codemasters have provided the most stunning display of their new visual model yet.

“Night lighting was one of our visual update priorities for F1® 2019. We took the atmospherics system that we introduced in F1 2018 for day time lighting, and further developed this for the night tracks.” – Stuart Campbell, Art Director, F1 2019

Priority might be putting it lightly. The difference in night racing from F1 2018 to F1 2019 is staggering. If you thought Monaco looked pretty wait until you see Singapore under the floodlights.

F1 2019 Night Lighting

“We now have full atmospheric haze on night circuits, giving a true sense of depth. There’s a lot of dust in the air on those circuits and, at night, the particles really interact with the strong trackside lighting. The atmospherics help pull the whole scene together and give a greater sense of realism. We have added volumetric lighting to the trackside lighting, which results in the cones of light falling off from the light sources – another key factor in making night lighting look more realistic. Finally, we added night time specular. This was not present at all in previous games and made the night time scenes look rather flat, and the surface materials ambiguous.

The specular additions have made a huge improvement to the quality of the track materials at night. The extra surface information provided by this allows you to see all the surface details that were lost previously. The vehicle paint in particular looks amazing on the night circuits, and picks-up highlights from all those track-side light sources making it look incredibly close to TV footage of the sport itself.Stuart Campbell, Art Director, F1 2019

It’s not just the way the city is lit, it’s the way the lighting interacts with every aspect of the game. The sheen of the tyres, the reflection off the car and even the look of the helmets is improved and as real as it’s ever looked.

With two full night races on the F1 schedule and the dusk start for Abu Dhabi the emphasis on providing an enhanced atmosphere is extremely welcome. It helps to give a truly special feel to these races, and given that you can make a night race anywhere outside of career mode it brings a deeper feel to the game.

Final car models

Previous images released by Codemasters had been one car with different skins as they worked painstakingly to make their 2019 cars as accurate as possible. Now they are done. And here they are…

I have just one word: Wow.

F1 2019 will be available to those that order the Legends Edition in just 3 weeks. They might be the longest 3 weeks of the year.


Toby Durant