Codemasters next entry in their Formula 1 series, F1 2019, will release on Friday 28th June, and it will include Formula 2 for the first time in the series history.
That news was announced by Formula 2 themselves earlier today, who are clearly happy to see their franchise included in the series. Formula 2 is being added to celebrate the ten year anniversary of Codemasters’ series, and its inclusion will allow players who are seeking ultimate immersion (which is most people who play the F1 series) to work their way up through Formula 2 before making the move up into Formula 1.
The full 2018 season of Formula 2 will be available in the game at launch, which means players will be coming up against the likes of the reigning (but not defending) F2 Champion George Russell, Lando Norris, and Alexander Albon, all of whom graduated into Formula 1 for the 2019 season after being the top three drivers in the 2018 Formula 2 season. The 2019 Formula 2 season will be digitally added to the game later in the year, and it will be fully functional with online play.
In announcing the news, Formula 2’s CEO, Bruno Michel, said:
“We’re immensely pleased to be part of the 2019 F1® videogame. This is something that the fans have been waiting for and the amount of feedback we received after the teaser in the announcement trailer was great. The fact that we are now part of the F1® videogame like we are part of the F1® Grand Prix weekends is an amazing opportunity to raise awareness of the F2™ brand in a way that’s never been done before.”
While Paul Jeal, the F1 Franchise Director at Codemasters, said:
“We’re extremely excited to be bringing F2™ to the franchise. It’s consistently been one of the most requested features from our community and it comes at a perfect time with the top three drivers from 2018 in George Russell, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon progressing to F1® for this season. We can’t wait to unveil more details on how this is integrated into the career mode in the coming weeks.”
The addition of Formula 2 will bring even more realism to a series which already does a tremendous job of emulating the sport. The F1 series is a true simulation rather than an arcade racer, and with the gameplay already being very well polished, adding even more depth to the content seems like the logical thing to do. One slight problem could be the sheer length of time that this could add to the Career Mode; depending on your settings, a single race weekend can already take a couple of hours to complete (based on my settings of full practice, full qualifying, and 50% race length), so just getting through a single season in Formula 1 can take a long time. Having to complete a season or two of Formula 2 before you even make it to Formula 1 could simply take too long for some players who don’t have the time to invest.
Of course, to counteract the time factor players could just adjust the length of races to make them shorter, but in my opinion, dropping the race length anywhere below my preferred settings of full practice, full qualifying, and 50% race length makes the game completely lose its appeal and purpose, as any sense of strategy and data-gathering (which is a massive part of what Formula 1 is about) completely goes out of the window. Considering all of this, it’ll be interesting to see whether Codemasters give players the option to skip Formula 2 and go straight into Formula 1, which seems like the logical option to keep everybody happy.
Another piece of good news to come from this announcement is that F1 2019 will be releasing before the end of June, which is a whole two months earlier than the series usual release month of August. Although still not perfectly in line with the start of the F1 season (which started in March) it brings it slightly closer, which helps to stop some of the details in the game being slightly outdated by the time the game releases.
F1 2019 will release for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on Friday 28th June.