For the upcoming release of EA Sports F1 23 on 16th June, one of the returning features will be the inclusion of Red Flags into any race event, if you so desire. The option will be available to players to experience in single player modes as well as online multiplayer.
Red Flags in Formula 1 are usually a worst-case scenario. Examples in the real-world would include major wrecks, such as when Zhou Guanyu flew off the start of the British Grand Prix last season, or also, extreme weather, such as when it downpoured in Spa two years ago.
This is the first time this franchise will see Red Flags included since 2014’s title, which was developed by Codemasters. Just how are these Red Flags going to work, anyway? Thankfully, EA answered some of those details in a deep-dive video on Thursday (11th May).
WHAT WILL CAUSE RED FLAGS ON F1 23?
As it is in the real-world Formula 1 races, there will be multiple ways to set off Red Flag periods in any given race, if they are turned on.
The most obvious way will be a big crash. Back in F1 2014, the last time that Red Flags existed in this franchise, this was how they were triggered, with a wreck big enough to essentially block the track. This will be expanded and the likelihood can be increased, decreased, or shut off completely… more on that in a bit.
Another way they can be set off is with a broken down car that comes to rest in an unsafe position. These will be your general race retirements, where if the car can’t make it to a safe area and the Red Flag option is on, this could trigger a complete stoppage by the game to have the car removed.
Weather is but another possible Red Flag trigger. Yes, even I remember that fateful day at Spa a few seasons ago, with torrential downpours and some parading for a few laps. If you’ve got Red Flags turned on and the rain is coming down hard enough in the game, the race may be stopped as to let the track dry out some.
It seems as though the goal will be to keep this capability as realistic as it can be, but I suppose that depends on how you set up the Red Flag sensitivity in the options.
SET YOUR TRIGGER LEVEL
There are four options presented to players for Red Flags in F1 23—Off, Reduced, Standard, or Increased. The system is monitoring track conditions, and based on what you choose, it will determine whether it’s enough for a Red Flag, or just one of the two Safety Car options.
If you don’t fancy having them on, they can be shut off completely, just as a Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car can be as well. Pileups be damned, who cares if there is a pond settled across the track, either.
Standard, of course, will likely emulate something like the FIA would do on any given race, and given their recent resurgence in competition (see: Baku 2021, Australia 2023, etc…), they will likely have some occurrences through a season. In a single race, the chances are probably less likely.
If you want even less of a possibility, there will be the Reduced setting, which will come with “reduced likelihood” of a Red Flag flying. This will probably require some big incident or monsoon to hit, but likely not an issue if someone stops on the track.
As for those who like to live in chaos, there is the Increased option. I would hope something as small as a spin doesn’t trigger Red Flags, but you never know until it happens to you. You could end up with a multi-red race and have your strategies flipped, turned upside down on multiple occasions.
NEW WAYS TO STRATEGIZE
Speaking of strategy, the Red Flag periods aren’t just there to stop the race and re-rack for another restart. There is strategy involved, and it could define your race.
When a race is suspended and the cars are brought in to the pit lane, players can make crucial decisions towards their races, such as opting to put on a different set of tires or changing up when the next pit stop might come in the race. Players can also fix some of their damages obtained.
Of course, you can opt to do none of that. If your tire allotment doesn’t allow for it, or it’s near the end of the race and you already are set on the strategy, all it will really be is just another restart period.
But, maybe about 35 percent into a race or so, if a Red Flag stops the action, one might be able to alter their strategy into a race winning one.
So, what do you think about the returning feature? Will you be turning them on, and if so, how do you think it will change the flow of the gameplay? Let us know in the comments!