F1 2010 Hands-On

Codemasters is aiming to bring you into the life of an F1 driver, both in and out of the car.

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There are plenty of reasons to love the life of a Formula One driver--being behind the wheel of the world's most technically advanced cars, driving in some of the world's most glamorous locales on some of the best circuits, getting the huge paychecks, enjoying the throngs of adoring fans, meeting the grid girls…the list truly goes on and on. If you're at all a fan of F1, you've probably spent a little time fantasizing about what it would be like to live this jet-setting lifestyle, and the folks at Codemasters have done the exact same thing. But they're taking those fantasies and making them (almost) real with their upcoming F1 debut on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC: F1 2010.

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The first time you boot up F1 2010, you'll be taken immediately to a press conference, which serves not just as a method to establish your identity in the game (enter your name, country of origin, and the like) but also as a representative sample of how Codies is approaching your experience in F1. Yes, there is a great deal of emphasis on being in the car and tackling some of the world's great courses, but there's also the life outside of the car--as well as in the paddock and press conferences--that is also a big part of the F1 2010 gameplay experience.

That boot-up press conference serves a third purpose as well: establishing exactly the kind of gameplay experience you're looking for from the game. Maybe you're a hardcore racing fan and are looking for a driving experience with no safety net, all assists off, and so on. Or maybe you're a casual F1 fan and will need some hand-holding (or, more accurately, some braking help or other type of assists). You'll also be able to determine the length of your nascent F1 career--up to seven seasons long. The balance between driving skill and career length will determine what teams are available to you in the beginning of the game. For example, if you're looking for a long-term career with minimal assists, you might only be offered drives with low-tier teams like Lotus or HRT. Those looking for a shorter career might find they have access to more prestigious teams like Renault or Williams.

Once you've found a team, the F1 2010 experience looks to be all about short-term and long-term goals. Of course, your main goal as a driver is to always beat your immediate rival, aka your teammate. He's the guy with (theoretically, at least) identical equipment, and beating him on the track in the qualifier and in the race will ensure your place as the team leader. As team leader, you'll have more say on some of the longer-term goals of the team, such as where to focus research and development efforts when it comes to your current car or, in more dramatic cases, whether to cease development on that year's model altogether to start work on the car for next season. Throughout the course of your career's arc, it then becomes a question of building a back marker team up to a championship contender or trying to play team hopscotch and eventually winding up in the cockpit of a McLaren or Ferrari (or other team of your choice).

The delicate dynamics of your team will also be affected by how you carry yourself outside of the car. For example, after a tough race with a disappointing result, you might be asked to make a comment. Do you blame the team for your troubles or take the blame yourself? If asked in the press about rumors of a rival team looking to scoop you up and offer you a contract, do you express public interest in such a deal, thereby ticking off your current team? Or do you bide your time and put your full support behind your boys in the garage? All of these responses will affect how you are perceived in the paddock and add up to a career mode that looks to be more than simply getting out on the track and running a never-ending string of mindless race sessions.

All of that extracurricular activity aside, however, F1 2010 is still going to live or die inside the cockpit--a fact that Codemasters readily acknowledges. As a result, the team has been working on nailing the power and poise of F1 cars without completely alienating novice drivers. The most noticeable aspect of the cars, from a driving standpoint, is their outrageous acceleration. In first and second gear, careful acceleration is an absolutely necessity. Failure to carefully accelerate can easily over-rev the engine and, in more extreme examples, send your car spinning in a corner. Once you get into third gear, you can step on the gas, but on low-speed tracks like Monaco where you spend a great deal of time in the lower gears, the degree of challenge is substantially increased by the power of the cars.

Though F1 2010 will feature four different camera angles to choose from when driving (two chase cams, one hood, and one cockpit), the best way to experience the game is in the cockpit cam, where you can watch as your driver saws the wheel left and right. You can also see and feel every bump and jerk in the carefully reconstructed courses. We got hands-on time with two of the 19 tracks that will be featured in F1 2010: the aforementioned Monaco, with all of its twisting madness and tight confines and the wide-open speed of Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villenueve. The two courses couldn't be more different in approach--Monaco is a relentless assault on your skill and concentration level, where the slightest wrong move can mean the end of your race. The track's bumpy nature, especially in the sprint up the hill to the Massenet and Casino corners, is captured with loving detail. Montreal, by contrast, has moments where you can take a mental break, but it also offers a mixture of high-speed corners and tight technical turns (like the hairpin turn 11) that can be a lot of fun.

Our hands-on time was limited just to practice sessions, so we didn't get a chance to experience the race AI in F1 2010. However, Codemasters developers did say they were working to ensure that the 24 licensed drivers in the game drive like their real-life counterparts. For example, McLaren's Jenson Button will be a smooth operator on track, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton will be an aggressive driver who is tough on his car's tires. Michael Shumacher will be difficult to pass just as he is in real life, and Sebastian Vettel will be at the height of his powers in the wet.

Wet weather makes things more interesting in real-life F1, and should do the same in F1 2010.
Wet weather makes things more interesting in real-life F1, and should do the same in F1 2010.

Just as it can in real life, weather will play a huge role in F1 2010 races, thanks to a weather system that Codemasters promises is one of the most advanced seen in a racing game to date. While you won't see much rain in traditionally dry climates, like Bahrain or Abu Dhabi, anything can happen at locales like Spa or Silverstone, where rain is a persistent threat. Weather effects will be extensive and run the gamut from overcast skies to full-on downpours--and multiple points in between. In addition to the vision problems that rain presents a driver, rain will affect how the tires interact with the road on which you're driving. Wet roads are slippery roads, naturally, and as a race persists, you'll see dry lines appear after the rain lets up and even be able to keep your tires cool by temporarily going offline to get your tires wet--a technique F1 drivers commonly use in real life.

There are a bunch of other small details that have us excited about F1 2010, including the ability to adjust the engine revs and brake balance on the fly using the D pad when driving and the presence of a race engineer who constantly gives you updates on your surroundings. We're also excited about a car-tuning system that will let you tweak your ride to your hearts content by going to individual parts (such as gear ratios, brakes, and the like) or by using overall setting templates that suit your particular driving style (oversteer/understeer, aggressive or conservative use of tires, and so on).

Although Formula One racing is certainly the most popular form of motorsport in the world, F1 games have sold poorly by comparison. Codemasters' approach of focusing as much on the lifestyle of F1 as on the on-track action is a calculated attempt at trying to turn that trend on its ear. From what we've seen so far, we're happy to say that the in-car experience looks to be challenging and rewarding, even with several months of development left to go before the game's September release. If the action out of the car lives up to the action on the tarmac, F1 2010 could be special indeed. Look for more on the game in the coming months.

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karilos21

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Epic game!!!

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WarLokk1980

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Word of warning to everyone DO NOT BUY THIS GAME FROM STEAM! Everyone in the UK that pre-ordered the game has been left unable to play

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ersten

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I do hope that there will be penalties, especially because of the multiplayer mode. Still no demo in the store though.. I wouldn't be too sure that it will be more fun than NASCAR in GT5.

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BriHarvo

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Does anyone know if there will be drive through penalties.

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salmanzk

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I will preorder this game

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deactivated-5b128098ce12f

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Whoa I might pick up this game. I love F1 Racing. And I think its way better than NASCAR racing. Better cars than NASCAR and awesome locations. My favorite place is Spa-Francorchamps in Belgian

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bezza2011

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can't wait for this game. about time a company focused on f1 properly instead of just making us do mindless racing each time. to the people are saying the release date is bad. wot are you talking about f1 gets interesting from september. f1 has a break now for a month, which means it comes back at septemember, and theres 7races left, which it starts to become interesting they planned it so well as well. how they'd know that this year it pretty much a 5driver race for the championship is beyond me making it more exciting which will increase sales i dont see a better time to release it. cant wait.

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ramtinalikhani

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Lookin' really good from my perspective, probably buy it for the ps3.

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Samustar

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I wonder how realistic crashes/damage is?

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Ov3rD0s3

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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Ov3rD0s3

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all im hearing about is the weather. i mean, who cares? we are waiting for f1 game on pc for almost 10 years, and you can't say anything else besides: in spa there is more chance of rain?! ow come on!!! ! just give us a decent f1 game, and please codemasters, make us a simulation! if not, where's the point anyway? it's f1, only the best of the best get the chance of driving it, not to mention wining.. so please, forget your arcadish grid and dirt, forget your ugly brownish graphics! but i guess i expect too much, since the article said: There are a bunch of other small details that have us excited about F1 2010, including the ability to adjust the engine revs and brake balance on the fly using the D pad when driving and the presence of a race engineer who constantly gives you updates on your surroundings. We're also excited about a car-tuning system that will let you tweak your ride to your hearts content by going to individual parts (such as gear ratios, brakes, and the like) or by using overall setting templates that suit your particular driving style (oversteer/understeer, aggressive or conservative use of tires, and so on). ----> this is all? this is all what u can give in car setup department in f1 at the end of year 2010?! shame on you

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K0PaSk4

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Nahhh, NASCAR just crap (with that said, doesn't mean that its not skillful) that's where F1 wash out end up like Montoya & Speed.

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SolidSerpo

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The tomski a few posts below must be ignorant because Indy isn't all Oval racing, there's more road circuits. And yes, an F1 fan like me appreciates oval racing too, it's just a different type of motor sport. As for this game, Finally !!!! Gonna give Gran Turismo 5 some shelf time perhaps:)

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vegetaali

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I've always loved F1 games and I M realy looking forward to this one! :D

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SicklySunStorm

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@tomski73 - speaking as an avid british F1 fan, I think your views are so frighteningly narrow(!) You've just compared a mish-mash of sports that are all different from each other... I mean, nascar and F1 have steering wheels, engines, drivers etc - but that's where the similarity ends, and the two should not be compared. Neither should rugby be compared to American Football either - sure the sports share certain parallels, but the overall result is so radically different that you can't compare the two. It takes a HUGE amount of skill and nerve to drive a nascar relentlessly at 200mph+ around an arena for countless laps - at the same time, it also takes equal amounts of nerve and skill to throw an F1 car around a track, but the two sports are so different, you cannot compare them. F1 is mainly my thing, but I can also totally appreciate nascar... to try and undermine the skill of the drivers in that sport by comparing it to F1 is just laughable, frankly. Both sports have equal merits and fundamentally different approaches.

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3dmetrius

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A must buy, for sure.

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tomski73

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ok i see some people mentioning NASCAR here that just doesn't fly so let me Americanize this for you... F1 is like the NFL top league, mega stars, lots and lots of money! Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren... top dogs! GP2 will be you Collage Football, here is where you see the young stars rising. Now NASCAR/Trucks and Indy... that's like arena football! It's a freakin joke! They just go in circles. And just like in arena football all the wash outs from the big league end up here like Pique Jr. for example! And finaly the most extreme would be like rugby these guys thinks pads are for kitties and that would be your WRC these guys most of the times don't even use paved roads and go to circuits they never been on and go flat out! Nuts! So there you have it! Please never ever ever mention nascar when you speak to F1 folks.

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rick21_wlr

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definitely must buy one..

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Bigsmoke33

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This is my must buy game i love F1 so much and Grid has been my Fav racing game so im getting this for sure.

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1blackone

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I never played DiRT BUT i did play GRiD. More than any game that has come out in the last 5 years: PGR ToCA, NFSS, even FORZA, GRiD came closest to that magical sweet spot in between Arcade and Simulation racing. For that reason alone, ill show some loyalty to the studio and snap-buy this when it comes out; Codemasters has earned at least one go.

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IrishBulldog93

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AWESOME

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trotromiel

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i wish they make a NASCAR game Including Ricky"el diablo" Bobby, Cal "the magic man" Naughton Jr. And Jean"pepe le pew" Girard!!! xD

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trotromiel

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I CANT WAIT! THE FIRST F1 GAME ON XBOX!

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SicklySunStorm

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I cannot WAIT for this. :D One thing that would really help sell this game and make it much bigger than the sum of it's parts would be the inclusion of past teams/car models and paint jobs. Being able to take part in seasons past with all the correct cars, classic tracks, drivers and paint jobs would really just seal the deal and make it far more appealing to more F1 fans than just those that already play games and like F1... it would certainly get a lot of the older crowd interested if they could recreate some classic F1 tussles between stars long since dead. As a game, it would be much more about the F1 the sport than just focusing on one season...

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JustLoveFood

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The weather effect looks kinda cool. Hopefully the game is released before F1 race hit in my country.

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voidhawk2000

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Codies make the best racing games by far!! Need for Speed (EA) can eat their dust LOL. Grid and Dirt 1 & 2 rock and am soooo waiting for Grid 2!!!!

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ThAdEa82

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@xxxDirtyJoexxx - haha...have you heard of operation flashpoint? Anyway, I like the way this game is looking enough to give them another shot since they did a great job with dirt 2

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codename-60091

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well done codemaster. very well figure out!! sadly, i am not a big fan of F1. i will pirate it!! dont get me wrong!! i will support and buy orignal for your other series coming soon!

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xxxDirtyJoexxx

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I like Codemasters they make good polished bug free games lately.

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madSomnambulist

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I want to scold Codemasters if they're dead-set on a heavy push of personal driver styles. Hopefully it's a variable and not just a blind modifier like "AI level Vettel +2 if raining"; or will it think about what tire compound is being used before shredding Hamilton's to bits? As someone always rooting for and following the mid-pack teams, I'm wondering if they'll bother with details of these folk, too. Sure. MSchu is notoriously hard to pass and people can expect it, but will (for example) Kobayashi's aggressiveness shuffle in? Glock's stubborn blocking? Such things are rarely in the forefront but just as important to realism.

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pelvist

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I take half of what CM say with a pinch of salt now after the Dragon Rising fiasco, BUT! ...Ill be buying this on day1 for the PC because I love F1 and also because Grid was so damn good. (Grid 2 please CM)

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ohjtbehaaave

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Yeah... I think I prefer the F1 racing skill over just turning LEFT all race like Nascar!

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uyeop

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Always with the "yellow-looking" gameplay from codemaster.. Does anybody know whether it'll be a simulation or arcade?

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ToneLoki

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Edit: disregard lo-def comment, i found the HD vid which was much improved

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ToneLoki

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Cant wait!!!!! Thank you codemasters!!! You guys make great racing games so im very hopefull in this release. Why is this vid so lo-def though???

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DeathProofDelta

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looking good, i wanna see some more gameplay clips.

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SolidSerpo

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Well that's the beauty of F1; the cars are not equal. Since there are unlimited budgets, the manufacturers must try to stay equal, but some can't, and some can. On a side note, a reason the Indianapolis 500 is special is because that particular race gives freedom to the engineers to freely tune the Indy cars for a week for advantages. For one race, the Indy cars are modified separately unlike to specific modifications in NASCAR which mandates all their cars to be equal in power and technology for every race of the season.

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ninjaroach81

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@SolidSerpo Yes, great job by Alonso, but can you really count the HRTs, Virgins, and Lotus's? Not much of a challenge, even at Monaco, when they're 4 seconds off the pace! That's why I think Schumi's performance in '06 was more impressive.

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SolidSerpo

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I definitely agree that F1 is the most popular motorsport in the world, but not in the U.S. I enjoy both sports, but really love F1 and Indy best. As for passing, did anyone see how many cars Alonzo passed at Monaco this week?!

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heniurisaito

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@ ninjaroach81 Lol, so true... Having "extracurricular" life is what would make me love playing racing games... For more than a week... Other than the casual race now and then. I just wish you can play it on the d-pad as well, so I can play with my father, he is so stubborn about the analog... @shakensparco Nascar has oval tracks... Easier to drive with one hand and hold a beer with the other, and still they manage to crash and destroy the cars... That's redneck for you! But Nascar is more popular than F1 only in the US, even in Brazil they make fun of nascar, usually about its simplicity.

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Impaler0077

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@shakensparco I'm pretty sure NASCAR is only more popular than F1 in the US. Worldwide, F1 is way more popular than NASCAR.

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ThAdEa82

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@ali-009 - nascar for you

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ThAdEa82

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@mini_specs - Then you must have missed their fail with flashpoint. Unfortunately F1 takes the backseat to nascar in the US. While the passing is easier in nascar, I like the complexity of F1

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kj_666

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with codemasters behind it, you know it'll be class. can't wait! I like the idea of working your way up. hope it has historical scenarios like the old n64 f1 games had :) ahhh good old days

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DutchZombie

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definitely getting this....

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marco245

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Can't wait to try some good old fashioned career mode in an F1 game. F106 was great in that sense. I was so chuffed to get a Super Aguri contract :D

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shakensparco

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I don't know why this sport is less popular than NASCAR

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klicko90

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@ninjaroach81 lets hope so ...

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