F1 2019 screenshot

F1 2019 attracting more players than ever during hiatus

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Record numbers of players are turning to the official Formula 1 game during the hiatus.

What they say

Codemasters F1 franchise director Paul Jeal told RaceFans they have seen a large spike in players since the start of the season was postponed.

I read something the other day about just Steam games in general are at the highest level is that they’ve ever had. We’re certainly seeing that on our PC side. But also in terms of just the number of players who are engaging with the game daily and monthly.

There’s a combination of things. I think obviously this is the time of year where people are wanting their racing fix. They’re certainly getting it a lot.

I think you can watch something and then immediately want to come into the game and and test your skills. We’ve certainly seen a lot of that, a number of people trying to replicate the Japan 1998 lap challenge, for example, and sharing their races and stuff.

We’ve always historically seen that: You follow the Formula 1 calendar, we can see live on the data where coming up to the time of the race there’s loads of people playing the game. And then all of a sudden it drops right down and at the end of the race it spikes massively back up. So you can almost tell what time the grand prix is run based on the graph and the curve and stuff.

But obviously lots of people at home at the moment. I think the other thing that we’re doing on PS4 and X-Box One is we’ve got free trials of the game that are up as well. So I think a lot of people who might look at it and go ‘oh yeah I want to get involved’. And that’s a chance to download one and try it and see how you get on.

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Comment of the day

What is the maximum number of races F1 can hold once racing is able to resume?

The only question mark really is how soon could F1 racing come back even without attendees? Would the Austrian Grand Prix be late enough for that, as has been the speculation most recently?

This whole time I’ve been and still am hopeful that there’s going to be at least some racing this year even though there are also people who don’t think any racing could happen this year, or at least not until a vaccine is out, but I’m not this pessimistic.

The point he makes about holding races within a compressed number of days indeed is true. Under no circumstances could racing on every single weekend be achievable logistically. On three consecutive weekends at maximum, so at maximum, every fourth weekend would have to be an off-weekend, or a triple-header followed by off-weekend followed by triple-header and so on, but even that’d be an unnecessarily high task for the travelling teams.
Jere (@Jerejj)

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Author information

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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  • 13 comments on “F1 2019 attracting more players than ever during hiatus”

    1. Under no circumstances could racing on every single weekend be achievable logistically.

      I agree with this.
      One of the things I find annoying is where someone decides on a schedule with no consideration for the unexpected. There’s no “slack” in the system. It may even be there’s something the person doing the scheduling has been told about but completely overlooked when they organise things. I can’t imagine anyone knowing exactly what needs to be done to get 10 teams plus the ton of officials and media to a race track for a Grand Prix during a pandemic. There will be thousands of small details that need to be considered, and of course there’s the “What do we do when we find someone has been infected?” question lurking in the background. If someone were found to be infected then wouldn’t we expect everyone that person had been in contact with to undergo 14 days isolation? And what if some need to be hospitalised?
      Surely the sensible thing to do is to space the Grands Prix three weeks apart.
      It is far better to have less races that are of a high standard than to have a lot of races which leave a trail of wrecked homes and seriously sick people.

      1. @drycrust Indeed. There’d still be the risk of someone getting infected, which would lead back to square one.

    2. Thank you for the COTD.
      BTW, take a look at Jean Todt’s mouse mat, LOL, and is that Leclerc in the small window? I can’t perfectly tell. This is the second time I’ve seen him wearing glasses, if yes. The first and only other occasion being some boat-event earlier this year.

      1. LOL! Well it would be even stranger to see his mouse mat sponsored by a three pointed star or a energy drink company ;)

    3. I saw somewhere that even Sebastian Vettel has purchased a simulation rig so he might also join the fun of esports races happening these days.

      1. @Chaitanya Maybe, maybe not, but at least not soon.

    4. that clip on the tracks is amusing. Told by the drivers. Laser scanned tracks… One would expect tracks to be more accurate these days but they seem to have gone backwards, weird cambers and worse, bad geometry, last chicane at Spa is another shocking example. The cars feeling like “jelly” is something codies can dodge, a track not being accurate they can’t.

      1. @peartree Codemasters don’t use laserscan data. The tracks are put together based off pictures & Video.

        In the past they were also working closely with Anthony Davidson but I don’t know if he’s still involved.

        1. That’s what they do, but is it really acceptable for an official game that crowds out any competitors by virtue of a monopolistic agreement with the sport itself?

        2. @stefmeister is that true? Not laser scanned? I can understand for tracks which are yet to be run (e.g. Vietnam) and challenges with some street circuits. But surely laser scanning would be the first option?

          Might be because they’re unable to scan them all so to keep them consistent they don’t scan any… but does seem backwards given even sim-cade games like Forza laser scan tracks.

          1. @justrhysism They have said in the past that they don’t really feel a need to use laser-scanning given the type of game they are aiming to make. They are not aiming to be a sim so spending the extra time & money implementing something that a vast majority of those who play it aren’t going to even notice isn’t worth it for them.

            There was also the suggestion in the past that it’s a fairly small team working on the F1 games & as such they don’t have the time or resources to go & laser-scan tracks themselves & that while they could get laser scan data from elsewhere (I think some circuits do it themselves now & sell it to anyone who wants it) they may not have the tools to be able to use it with their current game engine.

            Forza do it because they are still trying to give the impression of been more on the sim side & having the accuracy of laser-scanned tracks gives them one extra thing to talk to the sim crowd about.

            I think the thing with laser scanning is that while for sure it provides a more accurate representation of the circuit, It’s not something your really going to be able to notice unless your super familiar with the circuit to be able to spot the inaccuracies, If you have a more simulation based set of physics to feel the effects of bumps, camber, crests etc… or unless your using one of the better FFB wheels that are going to be able to pick up some of the bumps & other smaller details laser scanning will pick up.

            1. @stefmeister makes sense. I crave realism, but not so much that I can’t actually play the game haha

              I thought it would’ve been easier to crest a track with laser scan data than trying to figure out camber, elevation changes etc from photos. But I guess if they’re going to make it up somewhat and 95% people aren’t going to notice it doesn’t matter.

              Thanks for the detailed response.

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