So here's my first impressions of this game thus far. First off, keep in mind that this is my first "real" F1 game since F1 like 2002. Which I really wouldn't consider exactly that realistic.
After about 3-4 hours of gameplay, I've enjoyed it very much. Started a career with Toro Rosso on Pro AI, auto (wanted to get a feel for braking zones before switching back to manual), and half TCS. I find the difficulty to be challenging in races once cars get to speed (like too many other racing games, with some late braking you can pass ten cars easy through the first corner...which aided my 17th on the grid to a third at Malaysia). But I really find qualifying to be just uber hard. I seem to run laps that are competitive for a spot in Q3 during...Q3; but unless the weather gets a bit hairy I get my sidepods blown off and seem to struggle to make Q2. I guess I wasn't really expecting that. I'll have to see if any of this R&D updates bring better times.
On the plus side though, the game seems to really force you to drive smoothly. As pushing a corner will in turn send you way over an apex and probably into the grass. Always good to have a racing game you can't go balls to the wall all the time.
Things that have bugged me:
The weather is "interesting", I'm not sure if your engineer doesn't give you enough info, or the reports for the most part just flat out lie or what. But it wasn't that funny when I was finishing Q1 at Malaysia, and magically it went from a complete downpour to a dry track...without any warning from what I could tell.
The driver's head doesn't seem to bounce around as much as I expected, at least from the tv pod view (not the offset), his hands much accordingly (well, at least back and forth) but my driver's head seems to remain pretty stationary.
The podium celebration was a little disappointing, at least for finishing 3rd. Was cool to see the driver celebrate with the team at the paddock , but I was at least expecting a short scene on the podium. Perhaps that's only for number 1.
Anyways, just my thoughts and such. Glad to finally have a decent F1 game in my hands again. It's been far too long.