Classic tracks? Livery editor? VR? Your F1 2020 questions answered


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RaceFans readers sent in dozens of questions about F1 2020. Here are answers to a selection of them, including feedback from Codemasters’ Formula 1 game director Lee Mather.

Virtual Reality

Why doesn’t the PC version support virtual reality since the engine can? Dirt Rally has VR support.
Rick Hendrikse

Are we finally going to get VR?
Sergio Perez

“It’s very difficult to bring a game that runs like Formula 1 with such an intense physics engine and graphics engine to run VR,” says Mather. “So VR isn’t something we’re going to be able to do this year at the moment.”


“Will cross-platform play be implemented?”
Jack Chambers, Dino Scopiche and Kendrick Lamar

F1 2020 screenshot
Split-screen returns in F1 2020
Being able to play online with friends who have different systems is a feature Codemasters are keen to introduce, says Mather.

“That’s a very hot topic of discussion. We’ve been doing some trials and tests. It’s not going to happen in ’20 but it’s something that very much we’re investigating.

“That’s, again, a really fundamental change to the underlying structure of the game. But it’s obviously something that’s gaining great pace. I think it’s fantastic, I’ve been able to play Call of Duty against all of my friends across all platforms.

“So that’s something that we’re doing a lot of very serious investigation into for the future.”

My Team

F1 2019 screenshot: Anthoine Hubert
Decision to add Hubert to F1 2020 “wasn’t taken lightly”
Many of you wanted more details about the game’s new My Team feature. This allows you to create an 11th team in the game, customise it and manage it over 10 consecutive seasons.

You also get to hire drivers to race alongside you in the team, which opens up many interesting playing opportunities:

“Will you be able to sign F2 drivers in the My Team career?”

The Formula 2 field is available for you to hire a driver from the start of the game, says Mather, though you’ll need to ensure you have enough money to hire the driver you want.

“There’s going to be a full driver market which you’ll obviously engage with as you play through the game.”

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“Will you have to drive yourself or can you pick two AI drivers and just manage the team?”
Bradley Downton

“You have to participate as a driver,” Mather confirms. “That’s key to us.

“It’s something that we always said we would do. We’re a racing game with a management element, we’re not a management game. So it’s a great addition, it gives you all the flavour of running a Formula 1 team.”

“When creating your own team and choose a team mate is it only F1 and F2 drivers or can you create your own?”

F1 2020 screenshot
You can hire F2 drivers to your virtual F1 team
There is a third source of drivers available if your team is struggling and you can’t afford one of the real-world drivers.

“It might be that I’ve exhausted all options, I’m absolutely broke, I can’t even afford to renew the contract with my driver. At that point, we bring in one of the fictional drivers that we have – the drivers who drive the classic cars.

“So if you’ve reached that point and you’re really struggling, you get one of those drivers. And they’re not great so they’re not going to do the best job for you, but they’re there to fill a seat and to keep your team in business.”

“How customisable are the cars going to be in My Team mode and will you be able to customise the team overalls?”
Jamie Hubbard

There are extensive personalisation options available in My Team. “You’ll be able to select the livery that you want to use on the car from a wide selection, which will be increasing once the title’s out as well.

F1 2020 screenshot
There are restrictions on livery design
“You’ll set the colour for your livery and the way you want your car to look. Beyond that you’ll select the race suit and again you can tailor the colours of the race suit and the gloves.

“You’ll then do the same for the environment that your team is going to be set in. The facilities are heavily branded for Formula 1 teams so you’ll want to select your colours for that as well so you can set the colours for the facilities you load.

“You’ll then want to pick the identity of your team so you’ll go for your badge so you’ll select the badge and again you can change the colours and also the styles of the badges so they might be embossed, they might be 3D. And again, that gives you that level of personalisation.”

“Will it have a livery editor for your own team?”

F1 2020 screenshot
Sponsors have “very strict guidelines” on logo use
The livery editing options are handled in-game which allows for some controls to be placed on what players can do. For the same reason, your My Team creations are restricted to only including fictional sponsors.

“Basically you can’t see Shell and Petronas on a car together, you can’t go placing a Rolex logo in fluorescent pink, for example. There’s very strict guidelines around how companies handle their logos.

“That’s something that we felt would actually take away so much personalisation from the player if they were restricted in what they could do in that way. So we have a much broader range of sponsors that we can use in the game that we’ve created. And it gives us more freedom to actually attach different goals to them and allow the player to tailor the way they look on their car.”

Can we make slight alterations to the ‘FOM car’ in My Team? Like nose shape, side pods, barge boards etc, even if only a few options.

The ‘My Team’ car is a fixed model, Mather explains: “We can only have a limited number of vehicle models. The one that we’re using is the same model that we created in a partnership with Formula 1.

“So in partnership with Ross [Brawn, F1 managing director] and his team again we’ve got a spec car, which is the chassis that you’ll be placing your livery on.”

Career mode and other races

Are we able to do a full F2 season in the career mode?

A full F2 season is now available in career mode
The option to do a full season in F2 before entering F1 now exists. You can also skip F2 entirely or just do a few races.

Will we be able to choose the exact race distance rather than having the choice of 3 and 5 laps, 25, 50, 100% of the race distance?

There hasn’t been any change to the race distance options on the preview version we tested.

“Can you choose which 10 or 16 races will make up a shortened career season?”

Yes, you can choose from all 22 tracks.

Nostalgia fix

F1 2020 screenshot
Building two new tracks meant no time to add classics
Are there any classic tracks in the game?

Will classic circuits be included (Hockenheim, Istanbul, Imola etc) be included and possible to include in career mode?

Are we going to get classic tracks?

If F1, when it resumes, races at a venue not on the original 2020 calender, will it be added to the game in an update?
Ryo Gazuki

There aren’t any ‘classic tracks’ in F1 2020, partly because of the time involved in creating Zandvoort and Hanoi from scratch for this year’s game:

“Tracks are a vast undertaking for us,” says Mather. “Building two tracks in a year is a significant amount of work.

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“Bringing in classic tracks is always something we discuss, it’s something we did previously on the previous generation. But obviously we’ve brought in Zandvoort and Hanoi this year which are both enormous circuits.

“Roughly a track [takes] around a year of man-hours to build. So to build two tracks, obviously we have a team of people that work on them. It’s still a huge amount of effort and time that it takes to do that.”

“As graphics are getting to the point of photo realism, any chance Codemasters will start to offer a ‘more realistic’ physics mode and laser scan the tracks?”
Sergio Perez

F1 2020 screenshot
Codemasters used laser-scanned data to recreate Zandvoort
Codemasters used laser-scanned Light Detection and Ranging data [LIDAR] for Zandvoort. But Mather points out there are limitations to using it for other circuits, including ones they have already built:

“We do have LIDAR data for other circuits, but to obviously rebuild an entire track from that data again is another year of man-hours to do so. So LIDAR isn’t available for all tracks.

“There’s a lot of people [who] say LIDAR’s the silver bullet and it’s great, it’s amazing. It’s not always the case: The quality varies, the way that it’s captured varies, it’s not always perfect. We’ve certainly had LIDAR data that would have given us tracks that weren’t as good as the ones we have in game.

“For Zandvoort it’s fantastic. It gave us a really good head start. But also we required the CAD data as well and the reference footage. There’s so much that goes into building a circuit. LIDAR gets touted as being the be-all and end-all. And yes, it is a really strong start, but there’s a lot more that goes into building a circuit.”

Are we going to get more classic cars other than what is in the Schumacher DLC?
Aaron Hutt

Benetton B194 F1 2020 car model
The Michael Schumacher edition has extra classic cars
Yes there are. The Michael Schumacher Deluxe Edition of the game features the 1991 Jordan 191, 1994 Benetton B194, 1995 Benetton B195 and 2000 Ferrari F1-2000. (Note: You may have seen an earlier press release stating the latter will be in the standard edition of the game, which is not correct.)

The standard version of the game will feature the following cars: 2010 Red Bull RB6, 2010 Ferrari F10, 2010 McLaren MP4/25, 2009 Brawn BGP 001, 2008 McLaren MP4/23, 2007 Ferrari F2007, 2006 Renault R26, 2004 Ferrari F2004, 2003 Williams FW25, 1998 McLaren MP4/13, 1996 Williams FW18, 1991 McLaren MP4/6, 1992 Williams FW14, 1990 Ferrari 641, 1990 McLaren MP4/5B and 1988 McLaren MP4/4.

Does the B194 have a secret traction control code?
Clay Woolcock

Apparently not – but we haven’t driven it yet…

Thanks for your questions

We’ve answered as many as we’ve been able to so far. Some of them we won’t be able to answer until the final version of the game appears, so keep sending your questions in and we’ll answer another batch later in the year.

Video: We answer your questions on F1 2020

More videos from our first play of F1 2020 are being published today and over the coming days. Find them all on RaceFans’ YouTube page:

Note: All images and footage show the game in an unfinished state.

How we tested F1 2020

We ran F1 2020 using the following hardware:

Buy / pre-order F1 2020

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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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  • 29 comments on “Classic tracks? Livery editor? VR? Your F1 2020 questions answered”

    1. Why do they keep on using the same classic cars for the most part rather than replacing them with others for a change?
      RB6, MP4/23, F2007, R26, F2004 have been in every single game starting from F1 2017. For example, drop R26 for R25, and I also wouldn’t mind losing the F2007, MP4-23, and RB6, or even F2004.
      Here are a few cars I wouldn’t mind having included:
      R25, MP4-20, and possibly even FW27 or RB1 from 2005.
      RB7, and possibly also MP4-26 from 2011.
      2006, 2007, 2008 I’ve never really enjoyed driving a lot mainly due to how slow they are compared to the V10-powered ‘Single-Class’ category-cars, as well as, V8-powered cars with slick tyres. I care less about the older cars, but the same regarding replacing those that have been in every game with something else also applies.
      I’d even be okay with having the Mercedes W05 or W06, for example.

      1. I think the answer is the same as new circuits. Man hours. Its easier to reuse existing cars than build more from scratch. They’ve chosen 5 more new cars for the Schumacher pack. That’s probably all they can afford to create in the time frame ,given everything else involved in the game as a whole.

    2. I’d love to have the 1995 Ferrari 412 T2 in the game at some point, I would never tire of hearing that engine note!

      Also if I was a dev on that game, I’d absolutely put a convoluted code for TC in the B194, as well as make their fuel stops a little bit quicker for the first half of the season…

      1. @mysticarl The 1995 Ferrari 412 T2 was previously in the games before (2016 and 2017), but was taken out with F1 2018 due to it being an unpopular option. Another removal was the F2002, but that’s a different story…

        1. I’m amazed it was an unpopular option what with that screaming V12!

        2. Unpopular? It’s the most used classic car on my console. And it’s why F1 2018 is more played than F1 2019…..

    3. Hell a lot of excuses for not implementing things that other games already have.

      1. Frustrating, since it seems like they’re the only ones licensed to make F1 games.

    4. Something I’m interested in is whether codemasters have implemented different AI for different drivers. The discussion of hiring different drivers in ‘my team’ mode sounds interesting but in previous years I think I’m correct in saying the AI of Hamilton or Stroll (for example) is identical and it’s just the car that differentiates them. If it’s the same again you may as well hire the cheapest F2 rookie as they’d be no better or worse than anybody else which wouldn’t really make sense in this mode. I’m hoping therefore that this is changed this year – it’d be great to see Hamilton outperforming Bottas, Verstappen fighting more aggressively than most drivers, Stroll be abysmal in qualifying…etc. It would add a lot of character to the game across all the modes.

      1. I feel like they must have done something, as it would be absurd for Raghunathan to suddenly become a good driver in the virtual world.
        I’m pretty sure in F1 2018 Alonso was always better than Vandoorne.

        I know they won’t want to tell us specifically how they’ve ranked the drivers (think of the arguments), but it would be interesting to know the criteria. Are certain drivers better / worse at close combat, qualifying laps, wet weather, aggression levels.

    5. William Jones
      15th May 2020, 16:01

      I do understand that VR isn’t easy to implement, and a bad implementation – looking at you Skyrim – is worse than none. But I can’t help but to be disappointed, VR really is _that_ good.

    6. Amazing how the same company can do VR for dirt rally but are not even attempting it for F1, such a shame.

      Drive club worked well too, it certainly can be done.

      1. Rubbish excuse. Just say no then, far better excuse.

      2. Codemasters didn’t develop VR themselves in DIRT Rally.

      3. They are more interested in Profit. Re-Branding the same system every year with new content is far more lucrative than giving the customer what they want! Another Year i will not be purchasing!

    7. Are there any plans to create an F1 game spanning a whole decade? Say for example 2010-2019 career mode. That would be awesome!

      1. I agree that would be great. I thought it would have been a good idea to mark the 10 year anniversary of Codemasters having the licence. Unfortunately I think I read somewhere that the licence for the older seasons has expired, but I’m sure even if that’s the case it wouldn’t be totally insurmountable

    8. The problem with the classics is that the F2004 has a colossal straight line advantage and you’re wasting your time driving anything else.

    9. Would it be possible for Codemasters to implement co-op? Would love it if F1 games are able to implement couch playing (see e.g. Forza Motorsport 4) – especially needed in the light of the lockdown measures due to COVID-19! Sorely missing the ability to play together with family on the same screen

    10. Sorry, you can’t render 2 viewpoints with the GPU because of the “intense physics engine” running on the CPU? The same physics engine that’s inferior to multiple other sims? This company loves to lie; I haven’t bought an F1 game from them since they released F1 2011 on PS3 running at 20fps, and it looks like I still won’t be considering it.

    11. Classic tracks would be greatly appreciated, its the reason I still frequently play F1 2013 classic edition. I appreciate how building new tracks is a massive undertaking. But maybe we could have more layouts from the current tracks. Let me run the old last sector at Barcelona for example. Or Silverstone bridge layout, heck, even reverse circuits. Give me as much variety as you can within your limitations

    12. “It’s very difficult to bring a game that runs like Formula 1 with such an intense physics engine and graphics engine to run VR,”

      Hear all that laughing? That’s Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing, rFactor 2 etc in the background.

    13. Since when Istanbul became classic circuit?

    14. Still no VR? Most serious simulators already nailed it 4 years ago, and computing power is more than x3 stronger by now. Looks like it’s time to review the R&D manager and product manager career path. Anyone who raced with VR knows you cannot go back afterwards.

      For now, unfortunately, I’ll skip.

      1. The comment from the developer about VR being too hard is exactly the same response they gave three years ago. Given that all the major driving games anyone takes seriously has VR as an option it makes me wonder who is minding the store at codemasters. I’m in the category F1 fans who loves the sport but won’t get F1 2020 unless it includes VR. Given the ability of other developers to implement VR, the “too hard” excuse doesn’t hold water.

        1. Same here. With vr I could easily bare those arcade physics and medicore (if even that) FFB.

    15. Siddharth Sreekumar
      2nd June 2020, 7:19

      Will we be able to use our customised MyTeam car in multiplayer split screen and in the quick play or is the customised car restricted to only MyTeam?

    16. Strange that AMS2, ACC, PC1 and PC2 as also rFactor and so on “manage” to do physics and VR…. as also Dirt 2.0. – sounds more like, lets make more money fast first and see if the CEOs got some bucks to spare for the devs…. sad but very likely closer to the truth, I fear.

    17. No VR. No Cash. Keep the F1 2020 Lee Mather.

    Comments are closed.