F1 2020 Game: Release date, gameplay, trailer, historic content, cars, tracks, story, F2, career mode, R&D, setups and everything you need to know

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


F1 2020 promises to be a superb game

Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, and F1 games are always the most anticipated racing release of the year.

With accessible gameplay, stellar graphics, and a deep career mode it has been a game that keeps giving back to the player and challenging them to get better.

F1 2019 received strong reviews from critics and players alike.

Dropping two months earlier than expected and including new features like driver transfers in career mode and both the 2018 & 2019 F2 seasons with cars and drivers, it was a sensational game.

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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.

Release date

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

The 2020 calendar is going to be the busiest ever. With 22 races and two new countries to visit, Formula One will be truly exciting this year.

The release date for F1 2020 is as yet unknown. Last year’s game dropped in June 2019, but the traditional release date for the series has been in August. This is a big window for fans to plan around.

READ MORE: All F1 2019 setup guides

There is no doubt that the earlier release date was a hit with players, and gave a much longer time to play alongside the actual season.

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

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.

Multiplayer

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.

Historic content

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.

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 three 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 developing this year’s game.

However, the addition of new circuits would be a terrific way of extending content for users. Hockenheim and Interlagos are departing F1 this year, but they don’t need to leave the game.

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Even a facelift to the F1 2019 version of the tracks and including them 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…

Toby Durant

First Console: SNES / Favourite Game: Halo 2 / Currently Playing: Madden 20