F1 2020 Game: Release date, gameplay, crossplay, #ChallengeLando, delay, career mode, setups, R&D, & more

What can fans expect from the next instalment of Codemasters’ official Formula One game?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant
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The biggest race series in the world is on hold for now, but F1 2020 is coming to the rescue!

Coronavirus recently led to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix being the latest cancellation, and Canada is sure to be next.

However not all is lost, with F1 and Gfinity partnering up to bring weekly racing action to F1 fans on F1 2019.

Last year’s game was a huge success and provides excellent racing. Arriving two months earlier than expected, they threw in a career mode with new rivals and both the 2018 & 2019 F2 seasons.

No wonder it picked up strong reviews from critics and players alike.

NOW WATCH BELOW: Keep up-to-date with everything F1 2019 and F1 2020!
 

Following on from that is no easy task, but Codemasters rarely shy from a challenge and the British developers are sure to push the boundaries once again with F1 2020.

This is everything you need to know about F1 2020.

Projected release date

The F1 2019 Ferrari around Bahrain
EARLY: F1 2019 surprised fans with an early release date

The 2020 calendar was set to be the longest ever.

22 races were scheduled, with two new countries to visit, but that is all changing. Now, we down to 18 races and the Vietnam Grand Prix will have to wait for another year.

There is the potential for races to be rearranged, but for now the season is on hold.

The release date for F1 2020 is as yet unknown, and fingers crossed it won’t be affected.

READ MORE: All F1 2019 setup guides

Last year’s game dropped in June, but fans should prepare themselves for a longer wait this year.

There is no doubt that the earlier release date was a hit with players, but given the current climate things are extremely fluid.

Expect Codemasters to announce a date soon, with them looking to stay around that June mark if at all possible.

Gameplay

F1 games offer wheel-to-wheel action
DANGER CLOSE: F1 games have offered better and better action of late

F1 2019’s success came down to very consistent and reliable gameplay. There were no horror-show corners that caught you out unexpectedly or nagging bugs that spoiled the experience.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect improvements though.

The F1 2020 handling model will take a leap forward. Bumps and inconsistencies in the track surface are still tricky to feel and will hopefully force you to take more realistic lines through tracks like Monaco.

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The user interface and HUD are also very busy. The deployment of ERS, changing of engine modes and other settings are very complicated and tricky to do effectively.

Codemasters need to make a decision if they want to leave everything at the drivers fingertips or delegate some decisions, like ERS management, to the pit wall like in real life.

Career mode

F1 2019 R&D trees are similar to last year
CHANGES: A new R&D mechanic would be good

F1’s bread and butter is career mode. It’s where most players spend their time and provides the best experience for any racing game.

Codemasters have made small tweaks to career mode in recent years, but F1 2019 took a big step forward with the introduction of F2 and a feeder set of races with two rivals that followed you up to F1.

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There wasn’t much beyond that, but it was certainly entertaining and it was surely just the first step in the integration of junior formulae and a full journey to F1.

Hopefully, Devin Butler and Lukas Weber will be back for F1 2020, but if not they should have some successors ready to push you all the way.

On the R&D side it would be nice to see something new, but the practice programs & development tree are a tried, tested, and pretty successful way of developing your car season after season.

Maybe we could even get a standalone F2 career mode that expands on the brief stint you did last year.

Online

A tight pack of cars in F1 2019
CAREFUL: Online play has been a staple for F1 games

Online multiplayer has always been something of a minefield of dive-bombs and reckless driving. There is no legislating for the antics of drivers with a grudge, but hopefully the ghosting system will take a step forward to prevent kamikaze attacks or lapped cars being a pain.

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It would be great to see split-screen racing make a return. While most multiplayer does take place online, there are still plenty of times when split-screen in wanted. WRC 8, released last year, included split-screen racing and it was a big hit with players.

Online Leagues were solid last year, but there will be improvements with connectivity and lag, while the ability to further customise options would be welcome.

Cross-platform play

The major thing F1 2020 really needs is cross-platform play.

This has become vastly popular with Battle Royale games and allowed them to fill out games of 100+ players.

With the F1 player base split between Xbox, PlayStation, and PC it does get a bit difficult to find fill race lobbies and have friends race against each other.

There isn’t a reason why F1 2020 could not bring cross-platform play into the series and unite the player bases. It would certainly help fans connect to the real F1 racers with their home PC setups.

#ChallengeLando

This weekend was not slated to be a race week, which means we won’t see a repeat of the Virtual Grand Prix.

However, there will be a spectacle for fans with #ChallengeLando!

McLaren driver Lando Norris will be taking on challenges on the F1 2019 game, as well as racing against fans from around the world!

Team speed

F1 2020 will once again rank the teams from fastest to slowest. Within that ranking for career mode will be three categories: Engine, Chassis, and Aerodynamics.

While some historic performance, like Mercedes’ amazing engine and Red Bull’s brilliant chassis, will be factored in, if winter testing is anything to go by the team performance this year will be vastly different from F1 2019.

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You can see our predictions on the performance levels here, but it’s safe to say Williams won’t be glued to the back this year.

Driver pace

With the addition of driver transfers last year, F1 2019 had the best career mode to date. But there are certainly things that could be improved.

One of those is the evolution of drivers’ pace. While they will start in a fairly accurate order of fastest (Lewis Hamilton) to slowest (probably Nicolas Latifi), it would be great to see that order change over the seasons.

In season four Hamilton should start to slip as Verstappen, Ocon, Russell, and others progress.

Historic drivers, rivalries, & more

Senna v Prost flopped in F1 2019
LET DOWN: The Senna V Prost section was a disappointment in F1 2019

F1 2019 was marketed around the inclusion of Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, and their epic rivalry.

It’s fair to say that this part of the game fell flat, as all we got were some skins, extra classic cars, and some very dull challenges.

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It would be great for Codemasters to take the baton up here and provide some true historic challenges. Battle back as Kimi Raikkonen from 17th on the grid to win at Suzuka, face the epic Montreal 2011 race and try to replicate Jenson Button’s win.

These are all feasible given the scenario system F1 uses for its esports qualifier events.

DAS

The controversial new steering system debuted by Mercedes at winter testing has been raising a lot of eyebrows. DAS, or “Dual Axis Steering” is activated by pulling the steering wheel toward the driver.

It reduces the toe out of the front wheels when activated down a long straight, helping cool the front tyres, creating less friction and drag which improves performance.

This complicated system is already banned for 2021, so it is unlikely Codemasters will include it in F1 2020.

Classic cars

The iconic Ferrari F2004
ICONIC: Classic cars provide extra content and a lot of memories

Ever since their first inclusion in F1 2013 the classic cars have been a popular and entertaining part of the game. Offering different challenges to drivers they should be included in F1 2020 again.

While Codemasters have reproduced nearly all of the iconic cars in F1 history, it would be fantastic to see them include and entire year in the game.

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Imagine being able to take on Ferrari F2004 with the BAR-Honda or Williams-BMW and try to stop their domination?

Codemasters should at least take a look at some of the less-successful but still notable cars from F1 history. The six-wheeled Tyrrell or 1978 Brabham “fan car” would be welcome additions to the current crop Codemasters have.

Classic tracks

F1 says goodbye to Hockenheim in F1 2020
BYE BYE: Unless Codemasters add classic tracks there will be no Hockenheim in F1 2020

This is perhaps the one thing fans want over anything else. With two new circuits coming to F1 this year, and the massive rules changes coming in 2021, it is safe to say Codemasters have their hands full at the moment.

However, the addition of new circuits would be a terrific way of extending content for users. Hockenheim is departing F1 this year, but it doesn’t need to leave the game.

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Even a facelift to the F1 2019 version of the track and including it would be a great boost to the longevity of the game.

In an ideal world we would get Imola, Turkey, and classic versions of Silverstone, Hockenheim, and Spa too. Maybe it can be a DLC…

Season postponement & coronavirus

The Formula One season is on hold right now due to the continued global coronavirus issue.

We now know that the Dutch, Spain, and Monaco Grands Prix will be postponed, extending the wait for F1 into June.

That puts F1 right next to the projected release date for the game. This could lead to a huge event for F1 fans.

Of course, that is if Codemasters are not impacted by delays. We can only hope that they will be able to continue final development of the game and get it to the shelves on time.

No Monaco Grand Prix in the game?

The decision to suspend the season until June means that F1 won’t be visiting Monaco in May.

As a result, the event has been cancelled rather than postponed. This is a huge blow to fans, teams, and sponsors. But could also have a big impact on the game.

Codemasters are tasked with reproducing the F1 season, and that would mean not including the Monaco Grand Prix in F1 2020.

After all, we have seen them leave out the German Grand Prix in years when it wasn’t held, even though F1 would be returning to Hockenheim in the next year.

Hopefully we won’t be robbed of the thrill ride that is Monaco in F1 2020, but right now we are awaiting confirmation in either direction for Codemasters.

Toby Durant

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