The Formula 1 video game series expanded its horizons with the inclusion of Formula 2 back in 2019 – the first time an F1 support series was included in an officially sanctioned game. In a move many fans had been eagerly anticipating, F1 2019 featured the F2 2018 season, which was mildly confusing, and a small story within the main career mode whereby you fought against two other F2 rivals for promotion into F1.
These were halcyon days for the feeder championship, a season that featured Lando Norris, Alex Albon, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi – all of whom have graduated to full-time F1 seats. Then in September, F1 2019 was updated to include the F2 2019 season too.
The cars were spiky. You needed to have your wits about you. On corner exit they would exhibit oversteer that was smooth to transition, but if you were accelerating out of slow corners, as you shifted from first to second gear it was very easy to get a bout of wheelspin and tank slapper down the straight harder than this TT rider.
In F1 2020, the same was true, as the game launched with the same F2 2019 line-up and handling characteristics. But recently, 9th December to be precise, we received the 2020 Formula 2 season via the means of a free update.
That meant all the latest teams, drivers and liveries from a year capped by a tense title battle between two Ferrari Driver Academy backed drivers – Callum Ilott, and eventual victor, Mick Schumacher.
Somewhat surprisingly, however, it was more than a roster update. The handling of the F2 2020 cars is significantly different to the 2019 vehicles.
In practice, what this means is the same long braking zones – when compared to F1 – the same aggressive engine notes and playable chassis control as in 2019, but the weird snake-like behaviour out of slow corners has now all but vanished. No longer do you have to fear the turbo spooling up, you can plant the throttle down with confidence.
While you got used to the previous behaviour and you could drive around it, you are now controlling a much more planted steed and that ultimately means more people will be able to enjoy them. This is especially true of those driving with a controller.
The 2019 cars are still in the game too, so you can compare and contrast the different idiosyncrasies. New handling aside, the F2 features remain the same, but if the novelty of driving F2 cars has worn off for you in recent times, now’s a great time to get back into them with the 2020 cars.
All that remains now is a return of the story, some revised circuits and the inclusion of fellow F1 support championships, F3 and W Series…