F1 2020 Career Mode: R&D, Setup, gameplay, F2, drivers, teams, & more
Team orders, retirements, R&D changes… There is a whole world of changes possible this year.
While the release date is as yet unconfirmed, we hope that Codemasters won’t be too heavily affected by the current coronavirus issues.
F1 2019’s career mode was a wonderful experience. With a story mode for the first time, a Formula 2 tie-in, two new rivals, and even driver transfers for the very first time it felt fresh.
What can we expect this year?
There are a number of things we want to see from the F1 2020 career mode.
The R&D system has certainly improved in recent years, with team-specific trees and a fog-of-war obscuring your future plans. However, it has been too easy to develop your car into a world-beater.
The first season can see you take a backmarker into the points, and then in season two you can walk to a championship like the second coming of Mercedes. The longevity and challenge just isn’t there.
Failure rates and seasonal “rule changes” help somewhat, but either the AI development needs to be improved or the player development needs some nerfing.
READ MORE: Every F1 2019 setup guide
A new way of earning resource points, or simply lowering the available ones from practice programs, would add another level to the game.
Whatever it is, the longevity of career mode ultimately comes down to the rate at which you can earn resource points and out-develop your opponents. It is possible to create an elite team in such a short window that races no longer become competitive, and that needs to change.
The practice programs in which you collect your R&D points have been the same for a long time now.
Fuel management, track acclimatisation, qually pace… after a while it gets quite samey.
Switching these up for each track would be a welcome change. Qualifying in Monaco and Hungary is far more crucial than at Spa or Monza, so it should be prioritised at those tracks.
Things like refining braking points are totally ignored by these programs, but would be useful for a lot of drivers. Nailing a braking point and hearing Jeff say “this will be the perfect overtaking spot” will be a nice addition.
Driver development, promotion, & retirement
The current career mode is 10 seasons long. That should be 10 years of growth, development, movement, and importantly – retirement.
F1 2019 scratched the surface of this in two important ways. Driver transfers allowed the younger pilots at the back of the grid to move into faster cars and the introduction of F2 created a whole new stable of drivers in the game.
F1 games currently do not have any aging process for their drivers. There is no decline and retirement for older racers like there is for footballers in FIFA. Instead, they stay in the sport forever, only getting displaced to make way for you.
F1 2020 needs to take the realism stakes higher and have drivers that decline and depart. It makes no sense for Kimi Raikkonen to still be there in year eight of your career or for Lewis Hamilton to still be the fastest man on the grid.
Even Michael Schumacher declined and retired. And if he did, why not the others?
Bringing in a system whereby young drivers improve with experience and older ones fall away into retirement, to be replaced by F2 drivers getting promoted would open up the F1 universe.
These are an inevitable result of having two cars on track driven by racers that want to win above all else.
the 2019 season once again highlighted the importance of a team having an understanding with their drivers to take care of each other and not end the race in the wall.
READ MORE: FIFA 20 Team of the Season predictions
Bringing team orders into career mode would add another level of realism and force tough decisions on the player.
Do you follow the call from your engineer and move aside for your teammate, or keep him behind and risk angering your boss?
If there were resource point fines for ignoring team orders it would create the incentive for you to play nice, even more so if termination were a multi-occasion punishment too.
The 2020 F1 calendar will feature the biggest changes in a long time as new circuits enter, old ones depart, and one or two move around the schedule.
Vietnam and the Netherlands come in, while the German Grand Prix disappears once again.
READ MORE: Everything there is to know about F1 2020
These changes should be mirrored in F1 2020 as you go through the seasons. The season should start in Australia and end in Abu Dhabi, but in between you could hit Monaco in August or Japan in April.
It would make seasons feel different, and it would be a great way to utilise any additional tracks like San Marino or Turkey that were added to the game too…
More Formula 2!
The three-part intro you got to Formula 2 was nice, and it introduced Devin Butler and Lukas Weber really well, but we want more!
It would be great if we could start a whole season in F2 and compete next to Nicholas Latifi, Mick Schumacher, and others before going up to F1 for the 2020 season.
By all means make it optional, but adding a new way to enjoy the journey of motorsport would be amazing.