Safety car deployed in Codemasters’ F1 2011

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Expect to spend a long time behind the safety car at Montreal in F1 2011

Codemasters have confirmed the safety car will feature in F1 2011, the official F1 game to be released next month.

The feature was in high demand from fans after it was not included in last year’s F1 2010.

Codemasters’ communications manager Andy Gray revealed the news on Twitter and posted photographs showing the car in the game.

Gray said the safety car will feature online as well as in single-player races. It can be turned off and is only available in races of more than 20% full distance.

There is no option to drive the safety car and the camera angle does not change when it is deployed.

He added players will “have control behind the safety car but there’ll be some restrictions.”

Codemasters will release F1 2011 on September 23rd for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Buy / pre-order F1 2011 for Sony PlayStation 3
Buy / pre-order F1 2011 for Microsoft Xbox 360

F1 2011 by Codemasters

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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110 comments on “Safety car deployed in Codemasters’ F1 2011”

  1. Gotta love how fast news travels on social media, I only just saw this on Twitter :) Cant wait to get it!!!!

    1. Until we read “there’ll be some restrictions”.

      Should read “there’ll be A CRAPLOAD of restrictions”

      1. Like it’s semi-automatic, like driving down the pitlane?

        1. Well I heard, probably here, that a lot of the pit-lane restrictions have been done away with so hopefully the same criteria will apply behind the SC.

        2. Maybe they will keep the distances between the car ahead and behind you automatically like in the pit lane, but give you freedom to zig-zag.

          1. I reckon you are spot on with that one. I think it’s a good thing too.

            The only thing I hope is that “keeping the tyres warm” doesn’t become a mini game.

      2. It’ll be realistic then! Keep your distance and keep within the delta time. That’s all you need.

        Hopefully weaving will be allowed, providing it makes a difference to tyre temperature.

        1. It might be the perfect test of the new super handlind dynamics of suspension and tyres :-(

        2. I think it will be similar to the parade lap in F1 Championship Edition. It limited your top speed depending on how far ahead the car in front was, and allowed you to slow down and weave to warm up the tyres. I hope F1 2011 has a similar tyre-wear system to F1CE, because you really had to work to warm up the tyres and it was very user-friendly.

          The more I think about it, the more I realise just how great F1 Championship Edition was. Apart from the handling, they were almost spot on.


  2. This will hamper the hospitality industry worldwide.

  3. Personally, I welcome this news.

    Now long distance races will no longer have that sense of inevitability about them, as the constant threat of the Safety Car will now mean races can suddenly be turned completely upside down. The thought of running a 58 lap race and having a Safety Car intervention resulting in a 5 lap sprint to the line is far more exciting for me that it really should be.

    Also, assuming this feature will be active online, this is something we’re going to have to get used to for this year’s Collantine Cup season!

    1. Which not only am I going to try and join this year, but win.

    2. Exactly. It can change things for the worse as well, Which is what I think F1 games usually don’t have. Things going wrong out of your control. It’s something I notice.

    3. MAG if we’re using it for the Collantine Cup, then I think need longer races.

    4. I must say, I am curious about how it will work for gameplay (good to have an option to switch it off), will you have to keep it on the road for 30 laps behind the SC or can you just jump to the restart/lap the SC goes back in.

      Good luck finding a good balance for the Collentine Cup!

      1. It will be interesting to see if it is applauded or criticised when it comes out.

        1. It’ll depend on where you are in the field! If you are 20 seconds clear at the front it will be criticised, if you are second and end up winning the race, it’ll be applauded!

          1. pretty much like that I guess. Just as in real life actually :-(

    5. I should really get in on the Cup this year. Was it 360 or PS3?

      1. Collantine Cup on PS3 Andrew :)

          1. We should have a breakaway series on 360…

    6. You’re right. But until I see it, I’ll have my doubts. How often will it enter, will Charlie Whiting be as strict on weather as he is in real life?

      1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        17th August 2011, 23:08

        Hopefully it will be similar to the driver aids, i.e. fully off, mild, medium and Charlie Whiting, to give you power over how much you want the safety car out there

  4. Just wondering if the formation laps are in F1-2011 as well?

    1. I think that was already confirmed not to be in the game earlier

  5. is this game going to be more worthy of my time than the last one? Might just stick to the new Forza game

    1. Way to keep an open mind.

      1. To be fair; F1 2010 was the most dissapointing game I’ve ever bought and is the only game I’ve ever disliked so much that I traded it in.

        1. i hated it for about 48 hours (mostly due to the 12 months of hype i had surrendered to it!)

          then after that it turned into one of my most played games.. it really grows on you

          1. Yeah I agree. It did get a lot of things right though. It actually felt like F1, Which most games can’t achieve.

        2. spanky the wonder monkey
          17th August 2011, 16:54

          agreed. will definitely hire before i buy the new one. the most annoying thing was the grip level ‘modelling’, closely followed by the penalties that only ever seemed to apply to the human.
          i was drawn into the pre-release hype about it being an f1 game for f1 fans. i felt it fell well short of that claim, so won’t fall into the trap so easily this time around.

          1. The most annoying for me was the car invariably spinning if I over shoot a corner, even if I release the throttle and steering completely.

        3. To be fair; F1 2010 was the most dissapointing game I’ve ever bought and is the only game I’ve ever disliked so much that I traded it in.

          I never bought it because of how the community acted when in races, the fallout from crashes as evident on this websites forums were really bad.

          I’d be willing to buy something like MotorStorm Apocalypse to race you guys with because crashing is par for the course in that game, hence can’t really moan about it, so yeah I was turned off from the F1 game not because of the gameplay, but because how people acted about it.

          Its only a game guys.

          Its a shame because F1 games are superb at sucking you in, slowly turning off the driving aids and tackling the tracks.

      2. People are way too quick to dismiss this game. It’s not even been released yet.

        F1 2010 had quite a lot of glitches but give this one a chance, seriously.

        1. One of the glitches in f1 2010 that I experienced was annoying. If I slowed for the pitlane a bit early, and there was a car behind me, than that car would suddenly become a ghost and shoot ahead. Hopefully that will be fixed now

      3. hahaha, i looked forward to the 2010 game for so long, told so many people about it, brought it, we played it for a week, and i don’t think I’ve ever touched it again. It really was a massive, massive let down.

        I think this time I’m evening out that optimism by expecting absolutely nothing.

        1. that’s my motto for life:

          aim low, never be disappointed ;)

          1. No expectations; no disappointments.

  6. Let’s go the whole hog and have rain that turns torential so you’ve got the risk that the race will be red flagged..

  7. Hopefully they’ve thought this one through and not just rushed it in at the last minute!

    1. Given they responded to questions a few months back about it, by saying they would tell us later in the year weather they would implement it, i guess they have been working on this for a long time and now feel sure it will work.

  8. themagicofspeed (@)
    17th August 2011, 10:29

    i was one of those who wanted safety cars, so im pleased.

    F12010 lacked so many details, yet i never seem to notice because the rest of the game is so good.

    Ive made a breif list of a few details it lacked –
    Formation Lap
    Podium Ceremony
    Parc Ferme (at end of quali and end of race)
    Driver’s Parade
    Grid Walk
    Post Quali press conference
    2 player (but as in, split screen’ 2 player, i dont have XBOX Live so cant access any multiplayer stuff)

    And safety car of course.

    Hopefully, F12011 will right a few of those missing details that if included, would go some way to making it so much more realistic i feel.

    I dont think any of them would be too hard to do, mostly they are just video cutscenses but they would add to the realism and atmosphere.

    1. I dont think any of them would be too hard to do, mostly they are just video cutscenses but they would add to the realism and atmosphere.

      And I bet you’d skip them pretty much everytime! Get the racing right, that’s all that should matter – everything else is window dressing.

      The safety car is a welcome addition, can’t wait to see how it works. With my first GP at Monza and this being released just after September is going to be EPIC!

      1. And I think they said they did add Parc Ferme?

      2. and the SPLIT SCREEN 2x player…..that is part of the racing and would be a huge upgrade….

        1. That’s in the game! :)

    2. Why would you want a Quali press conference? The race ones were boring enough after about 2 goes.

      They have put in Parc Ferme this year. I think this is much better than having the podium.

    3. [QUOTE]Formation Lap
      Podium Ceremony
      Parc Ferme (at end of quali and end of race)
      Driver’s Parade
      Grid Walk
      Post Quali press conference[/QUOTE]

      Yea all well and good, but to the average F1 fan that quickly becomes a boring game. Its a lot to do and please a small portion of the audience.

    4. They have already said they think podiums have already been done in previous F1 games and they feel no need.

      Personally I think thats stupid as its like having the football worldd cup game without the trophy sequence

  9. Here’s a tweet from Codemasters giving more details:

    @Formula1game To those who asked Safety Car is available in races 20% or over and can be turned off if you don’t want it.

    1. saying exactly the same as Keith put in the article :-)

  10. I think it’s a mistake. The safety car is completely unnecessary. Formula 1 is all about going faster. The safety car only slows you down. So it seems like a contradiction to include it. I know I for one would find it incredibly boring to drive around in formation – and if the safety car is used in such a way that you can complete an entire race behind it (ie five laps), it will be a case of Codemasters shooting themselves in the foot. repeatedly.

    Sure, it might be used in the races on television, but video games are a completely different medium. The things that make television good do not necessarily make video games good because video games have more interactivity.

    1. No it isn’t….

      Formula 1 games are about putting Formula 1 into a game form os you can experience it.

      Don’t want to play with F1 rules, then don’t play an F1 game. There are heaps of other racers, some more realistic, others not, GT5 has two F1 cars, or you can play iRacing or Need for Speed.

      Formula 1 isnt about going faster, it’s about racing in some of the fastest cars.

      I wouldn’t find it boring to drive around in formation, following the leader, maintaing a gap, keeping the tyres warm, having strategy calls to make, weaving, getting the start right, controlling the pack at the startif I’m leading… all great stuff I want to do.

      PM, fi you don’t want the saftey car, turn it off, they have said you can, so just do that rather than complaining and explaining why others shouldn’t get to have it for the sake of your lazyness not to turn a feature off.

      I’d prefer to play an F1 to play as an F1 driver. If I don’t want it then I don’t have to play it.


      1. Well, enjoy spending ten laps at a time locked in formation and travelling at half speed. And while you spend twenty-odd minutes trundling around, just remember that this is supposed to be “fun”.

        1. Well you can turn the option off so why not have it.

          1. Because the time, effort and space put into the safey car could be better spent elsewhere – like the AI, the handling, and the weather. The safety car is little more than window-dressing; it doesn’t add anything to the game.

          2. PM, I feel pretty much as you do on the SC not being great in a racing game (it does make it more “sim” right).

            But when a big proportion of fans ask for it, why wouldn’t a game developer put it in?

            Especially as they already felt comfortable with those other new bits and had this unconfirmed right until the moment they felt it would work.

          3. PM does have a pretty valid point here.

            This is a bunch of F1 fans, on an F1 website arguing over a safety car. To the average consumer they couldn’t care less if it was there or not. Having the safety car there will only be appreciated by a small group of the audience, and those people are the fanatics who would have bought the game regardless of there being a safety car or not.

            Something cool like a track design option is something I would prefer, or historical cars.

          4. Something cool like a track design option is something I would prefer, or historical cars.

            Circuit design is unlikely, due to licencing issues.

            But one of the ideas Codemasters touted as possible DLC is “historic driving missions”, where you re-create an historical race. It sounds really exciting – who wouldn’t want to recreate Senna and Mansell battling each other at Estoril?

            Of course, the data for historic driving missions would probably be greater than the data necessary for the safety car, but it’s still something that could have been done.

          5. Yes, PM that is a fair point about developing elsewhere, didn’t think of that, although the SC will probably of had little development and be as buggy as 2010, hope not though. Second time this week I’ve agreed with you. :-)
            Also agreed about Q tyres.

            I think it depends if you want a fun racing game or a slight movement to simulating the main things in F1.

        2. It has to be said PM, that’s a pretty negative spin on things!

          I think we should be really grateful that we’ve got a big developer interested in F1 again that we are allowed to moan at and make changes to the game!! Plus without being pedantic the article and quote from Codemasters does state that the SC is available in races over 20% normal race distance, so you would never run behind it for 5 laps and that be the entire race.

          Personally I’m all for the Safety Car, I think it will add to the realism, and will cause some interesting results online.

    2. They had the Safety Car in F1 2000 on the novelty wore off after the 2nd or 3rd time it came out, for which then it got annoying.

      I’ve seen people asking if we’ll get to start wet races behind the Safety Car. WHY?! I’m sorry but this is a racing game, I’m not going to pay £40 to drive in formation and warm tyres.

      Being able to switch it on and off is a God send. I’ll be playing ‘F1 2011: Go compete’ while others can happily play ‘F1 2011: Sit behind the Safety Car’.

      I mean, I want the game to be realistic but to a point. What next? No in-game pauses so if you need the toilet you have to wet yourself, just like a real F1 driver does? Jeez.

      1. they might get random Red flag periods in, like Canada :-)

      2. What next ?

        I’ve heard that the new Sony Bravia fires springs at you every so often, has the option to spray burning fuel at you during pit stops and comes with a hot plate that fits into your seat and burns your bottom – just to make sure you get that authentic F1 experience…

      3. The reason people want the safety car, aside from making it more realistic, is to throw up an extra level of uncertainty and unpredictability to the races. It’s not so much about what happens under a safety car, rather the effect it has on the field- bunching it up so you can race more closely later on in a race.

    3. So, switch it OFF!

    4. a) As safety cars are a huge part of proper f1 I wouldn’t say it’s “completely unnecessary” to have them in what is marketed as the official game.

      b) The safety car can’t be used in a 5 lap race (it says in the article).

      c) It’s an option. You can turn it off if you don’t like it. I really fail to see how having the OPTION of adding in a safety car is a mistake. It’s a nice touch, and if you don’t like it just don’t use it.

    5. You can just turn it off. It might not be something you want, but F1 2011 is not a game made directly for you. It is made for F1 fans all over the world. If there is a large demand to include a safety car then that is time well spend to include it. And with a ON/off function it won’t be a problem for you, just turn it off and let others that want to use it, turn it on.
      Itup the field and then let you go again, to provide this strategic element to the game, which i is not necessarily going to be out for five laps, i wouldn’t be surprised if the safety car at maximum would be out for two laps to force you to change your strategy, bunch up the field and provide the strategic element.

    6. Mark Hitchcock
      17th August 2011, 20:54

      I’m almost 100% certain that if the developers have any sense at all you’ll be able to skip the actual driving behind the safety car. So there will be a crash, the SC will come out, you’ll press X, the game will fast-forward to the lap where the SC comes in and you will be in control for the restart.

      But of course, thinking about it rationally isn’t as much fun as being a doom monger is it?

      1. Mark Hitchcock
        17th August 2011, 20:59

        The reason it’s such a worthwhile addition is that (as others have pointed out) it adds some unpredictability.
        If I’m 20 seconds in the lead in F1 2010 it becomes incredibly dull. I know all I have to do is trundle round for a certain win. And if I’m 20 seconds behind and lapping the same as the leaders I know I’m stuck there.
        Whereas if there’s a chance of a SC there’s always hope for a backmarker and tension for the leader.

        Far from adding nothing, it actually adds rather a lot to the excitement and therefore overall experience of the game.

  11. Meh, is my response. It isn’t really necessary I don’t think.

    The safety car is deployed in F1 (generally) when it is either too wet to start/continue the race or when a car is in a dangerous place after a crash. So does this effectively mean that:
    1) there is guaranteed to be a safety car in any wet race you do in F1 2011?; and
    2) if there is big crash (say invoving 2 or more cars) you’ll end up creeping round behind the safety car while the marshalls “clear the track” (which would already have been cleared because the cars are only made of pixels and disappear after crashes!)?

    1. And the only thing holding a Lotus from beating a Red Bull is code…. but that’s what creates an authentic experience

  12. I won’t have it turned on. It would be a real pain to be racing and then suddenly have to spend 5 long laps behind the safety car. Not necessary imo.

  13. I read this site daily, and have never commented, but I have got to chime in on this one lol.

    If you have ever raced online, you know that guys are crashing alll the time. Turn on the SC or yellow flags, and you will driving behind the SC the whole race. Mark my words. The way everybody gets around it is through the honor system. Everybody has a quick key to say if they have crashed or not. Then everybody lines back up quick has a quick key to say they are ready, and the the leader quick keys a ‘GO’. That way everybody gets lined right back up and does not have to do 5 laps behind the SC. As Prisoner Monkeys says, video games are a whole different medium. The only good news is that it can be turned off here. Because it sure will be.

    1. But why not give the option? Obviously people want it (me included). Video games are about choice that’s what makes them a different medium.

  14. Thank heaven you can turn it off. Obviously I don’t know what it’ll be like on F1 2011, but on rFactor the safety cars were nothing but an annoyance.

    Hopefully it wont be over sensitive and deploy for things such as small spins or accidents that don’t pose any ‘danger’. It’s a fine line to tread and I hope it works OK, because if not it will be nothing but a gigantic waste of time. Based on their previous effort though, I’m not confident…

    1. Agree with you there Dan. Anyone race that had the SC enabled in rFactor was an absolute pain.

      Every time you even touched another car going into turn 1 the Safety Car would come out.

    2. Yup – I get really *really* frustrated when I get accused of ‘corner cutting’ in F1 2010 when I’m on the racing line. Would really get annoying if the SC came out every time I outbreak myself into turn 1 at Brazil (which for some reason I can never get right!)

      1. Hmmm, the game only calls you for corner cutting if you put all four wheels off the track… I’m pretty sure if you leave the track you aren’t on the racing line anymore though you may have only been slightly off it. Often I’ve taken a tight line on a corner, got the warning and thought ‘That’s rubbish, I didn’t cut there’ then when I check the replay realise I did have four wheels off the track albeit momentarily.

  15. Never understood why everyone wanted a safety car, they ruin a real race let alone a virtual one. I’d rather be racing than watching a safety car go around for 3 laps and judging by the comments i’ve read the controls will be more like mini games whilst following it, like pushing up on the d pad to warm up tyres etc.

    1. They often add an element of ambiguity to the race.

      Saftey car deployment bunches the field up which resets the playing field, creating overtaking opportunities, even more so that we now have DRS.

      1. Exactly, I really can’t understand why any serious F1 fan wouldn’t get this…

        The SC is an important part of F1 strategy. It’s not available for shorter races which makes sense and if someone is just a casual gamer/f1 watcher and not that interested in utilising all the strategy elements available to them, then they can turn it off

  16. Judging by people’s reactions Codemasters have introduced both the most-wanted feature (the safety car) and the second most-wanted feature (turning the safety car off).

    1. Very true. I’m so glad you can turn it on and off. I’m sure I’ll give it a try for novelty purposes but can’t see myself racing with it on all the time.

      Depends how often it gets deployed. Hopefully it’s rarely like in real life.

    2. LOL, good one. And I fully agree.

      Nice for novelty or bringing it closer for real hard core hard core fanatics (who will be annoyed at other things like not having warmup laps), but who will want to do this for more then a few races.

  17. Anybody remember in F1 ’99 when you could actually drive it? :)

    1. Those were the days. Back when every game had a load of hilarious cheats in them.

      F1 ’97 ones were my favourite. Making the cars like they were from Wipeout 2097.

      1. Jan Magnussen

      2. Don’t forget the Murray and Martin pacman cheat!

      3. I liked the track that was the shape of an F1 car!

        1. Loved it too ! It was really nice in fact.

  18. Considering I don’t buy the suggestion that CM will have ironed out a lot of the original bugs because it is their second try, the SC will just be another possibility to have some sort of bug. I’ve played through CoD1-2-4 and everytime a new gimmick was introduced, a plethora of new (and old) bugs joined along the way. Since games have disappointed me greatly out-of-the-box, F1 2011 goes into the way-and-see category until I can test it myself. If all else fails, let’s hope the modding community will be as active as with F1 2010.

    1. wait-and-see ofcourse *brainfade*

  19. Good news!

    Hopefully it won’t just have been shoe-horned in. That could be a real nightmare.

    I’m hoping that it sorts out the online play (if people choose to turn it on!). Far too many idiots get away with ignoring general etiquette but if they know they will be penalised when they smash into someone by bringing the SC out it might educate them a little more.

    1. Don’t get me wrong, I want the safety car in. I would also like the formation lap and slowing down lap. It would be fun to hear your engineer saying to you “great race, well done. Pick up rubber please” and then you pull into the pit lane and park up etc.

      It is good that it can be turned off though as it could encourage the on-line nasties who just like to ruin races to cause an incident just before the pit lane entry and dive in the pits for their mandatory stop whilst the safety car holds everyone else up. I know it sound far fetched but it could happen, ask Nelson Piquet jnr. Slightly different circumstances I know but I think the point still stands.

  20. Stephen Higgins
    17th August 2011, 14:35

    Play of any of Papyrus’s PC NASCAR games and that shows how you can get a good saftey-car-in-a-racing-game balance.

  21. I remember something about the player being able to skip the safety car period if they want. This would be good if it gets a bit boring.

    I am of the side that loves the idea of realism. A warm up lap, a warm down lap and even getting the car onto the grid in the first place (drive out of the pits, round the track then the engine turns off once you reach a certain point and the car gets pushed through the grid on “auto steering”). Anything to add realism to the game is great for me.

  22. Never seen so many people excited to see a safety car. Normally, they equate to boredom. ;) :D

  23. Why not tie the SC and historic missions together? You could try to recreate Singapore all over again…

  24. Safety Car deployed in Codemaster’s F1 2011


    Pretty good they put this in and doubly so by making it optional. With the recent PS3 price drop announced I may be tempted to splash out a bit…

  25. I think it’s great. Sometimes if I’m far in the lead, the race does start to get boring because it feels like I’m the only one racing. In a real race you’d be far more involved obviously and this wouldn’t be the case. But in a game it can be rather dull. The safety car will also add uncertainty to the race and create more overtaking opportunities on the restart. As people say, yes if you don’t like it, switch it off. This is the official Formula One game and they need to be as authentic as possible.

  26. I’m not at all bothered about the safety car. I’ll use it at first, but I reckon I’ll get bored of it and turn it off. Also, people have wanted it, but it isn’t needed – wrecked vehicles and debris just disappear, marshals and cranes don’t clear the wreckage, so why is it needed?

    1. “Also, people have wanted it, but it isn’t needed – wrecked vehicles and debris just disappear, marshals and cranes don’t clear the wreckage, so why is it needed?”

      Perhaps they will then? Maybe we’ll see cars off the side of the track for the remainder of a race after it’s been placed in a position deemed safe after a race ending incident.

  27. UKfanatic (@)
    18th August 2011, 0:59

    surprise! nice touch the safety car

  28. Thats a good news. If done properly I cant imagine racing without it. But knowing Codemasters they are brilliant at screwing things up, so I’ll be carefull until I see the game.

  29. spanky the wonder monkey
    18th August 2011, 11:21

    can’t say it bothers me either way. unlikely i’d use it as i find the SC tedious. i just hope that the flaws in the core of 2010 were sorted before time was spent on the SC stuff. the old “must do, should do, could do” priorities.
    what i think would be worthwhile is a physical mod that fries a bit of castrol r at the start of each race ;-)

  30. There is real skill to driving behind the safety car. Brake temperatures, tyres temps and pressures. Codemasters say they have worked hard on the pirelli tyres and you can feel the degredation. Hopefully you can feel the temperatures drop off behind the safety car and the pressures drop so when you head into turn 1, the car is a totally different beast to that 2 laps ago. Cold brakes as well and locking up into turn 1. That would be a fun challenge. But if this not the case, it will be much like F1 2000 unfortunately. The safety car was very fustrating in that game. I once moved alongside the safety car trying to get temp and I got immediately disqualified which wasn’t fun. Also, the restrictions make it sound like the parade lap on f106. The parade lap was quite boring as you could actually let go of the controller and the car would go round the track itself and who wants that. We want TOTAL control codemasters

  31. F1 2010 was a huge letdown!! Even the colours used in teh game were all wrong!! it seemed as if everything had an orange tinge to it!!
    With the release of gran turismo 5 im more than satisfied when it comes to racing games although a high def version of gp4 would be nice aswell!!!

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