F1 2020 screenshot

Russell “shocked” by F1 2020’s improved handling

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George Russell says he is surprised by the improvements Codemasters have made to how cars handle in F1 2020, the upcoming new edition of the official Formula 1 game.

Russell revealed on social media he was “shocked” by the improvements he felt in a version of F1 2020 he played recently. The will go on sale on July 10th.

“I’ve recently played the new F1 game and it was super-good,” said Russell in a conversation with Sergio Perez. “I was really surprised.”

Perez, who entered the F1 2019-based Virtual Grand Prix series for the first time last weekend, described the difficulties he had getting the car to turn the way he wanted it to in the previous game.

“It’s all in the downshifts,” said Russell. “You’ve got to use the downshifts at the right time. It’s so difficult in this game. But the new one is really good, none of this stupidness is there.”

The game developer Codemasters say they have made several changes to F1 2020 based from feedback from drivers such as Lando Norris. The McLaren driver previously said he would recommend serious racers play iRacing or rFactor instead of the official F1 game.

Last month a Formula 1 spokesperson indicated the sport could offer an official simulator game in the future.

RaceFans has tested a preview version of F1 2020 but coverage of certain aspects of the game, including its handling model, is under embargo.

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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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  • 25 comments on “Russell “shocked” by F1 2020’s improved handling”

    1. “It’s all in the downshifts,” said Russell. “You’ve got to use the downshifts at the right time. It’s so difficult in this game. But the new one is really good, none of this stupidness is there.”

      This I find interesting. Indeed, the downshifts in F1 2019 are vital for performance, yet make no sense from a real world perspective. In one of the first youtube videos, (don’t know if I’m allowed to post a link here?) the streamer said that at that moment downshifting during a corner was still performance enhancing. I’m curious to know if George played the same version and if not, if this downshift behaviour is indeed changed.

      1. @wessel-v1 This site allows links to other sites and articles.

      2. I’ve run against Lando’s ghosts in 2019 and was some few tenths off. The downshifts are used to rotate the car. Like in Brazil, the tight left hander in mid track you shift from 2nd to 1st and instantly back to 2nd to gain half a tenth. Just little things like that which have no bearing on driving an actual car. 2019 was filled with those quirks (which you only notice when you are pushing a lap to the max and setting a world record).

        I hope 2020 fixes those. In addition that you had to use gears that were too low compared to reality anyway in 2019

        1. Also 2019 had no ffb for locking wheels, all pro simmers use a buttkicker or other tactical lfe device to simulate seat vibrations for loss of grip etc. I hope at least that 2020 has better ffb including locking wheels.

      3. Downshifting to rotate the car is one of those “deep” techniques. Meaning, you can use it when battling with someone else, you can use it in quali, there are times you better not use it, there are times when you can use it to get out of an accident. It is sort of like Senna’s toe tapping A lot of people think it is so simply control the rear of the car but, it is really used to extend the knife edge.

    2. :D That’s because it’s an arcade and downshift helps turn-in.

      George is great at it atleast. It does his real world career no harm in destroying the competition this convincingly.

      I am glad they improved, I’ll hold no judgement before I try out the new handling model.

      I want the cars to handle EXACTLY like they do in real life. As close to it as possible. This is something I strive for in every sim.

      As for arcade games? I get bored in a few turns. There is a lot of fun gameplay tinkering with setup and trying out things, and getting everything to work just the way you like it, but that is all provided there is a good solid simulation model underneath. If your model is bad from the onset, setup changes feel bad aswell.

      1. @jureo You wouldn’t be able to drive the car if it behaved exactly as the real thing.

        1. @F1oSaurus lol, What a great reply and absolutely true!

          1. Although I do like the ambition of @jureo

            1. @gruppeb86 True it would be fun to try I guess.

        2. I bet i could drive the car easily within 5-10 seconds of pro drivers.

          Now if “able” constitutes being on pace, offcorse not, not even close. But that is why we have elite drivers in F1, not regular Joes.

          When driving a sim I want to feel that my inputs matter, that car behaviour is of direct consequence of my actions, being at one with the car is an interesting saying but very true.

          I get that while driving my sports car on real roads and while driving a good sim you can connect with the car. You feel it twitch through the wheel, you can transfer the load, you can feel the onset of a slide, you can correct it, catch it, everything is possible if the sim is good.

          But if it’s bad you have no connection with the ongoing events and it feels like driving a people carrier on a highway. Sure things are moving about on the screen but you are directing not driving.

          Then you get these kind of techniques, like saving downshifts through turn-in, to exploit poor design and gain laptime.

          But worst of all, all enjoyment is lost. In a good sim F1 car is challanging to drive, your wheels want to break free but you can also catch it. But then the simulation and force feedback must be done right.

        3. Why not? It’s relatively easy to drive an F1 simulator.

          Getting the last few tenths out of it is what’s difficult.

          1. Exactly this. F1 cars are somewhat easy to drive when not at the absolute limit. Even on the limit they are quite nice.

            Remember these cars are designed to work on the limit, and when setup is good, you can do it.

            Laptimes are a different story, that requires amazing skill that most mortals do not posses.

    3. It can only be a good thing that many F1 drivers are being exposed to this game and giving legit feedback that is shaping the handling model to come. Good to hear. I wonder if we will see something like the Dirt Rally games where you have the more approachable more arcade style game, and then a different series based more on realistic physics. It would be perfectly viable for them to create a new more sim oriented handling model and launch the game including both modes.

      1. They should take F1 drivers and base the model entirely on their liking and experience.

        Simulating complex aerodynamic behavior without good data. (And teams won’t give good data) is impossible.

        Tyre model is also far from the real thing.

        They should get real setups, from real engineers and work on tyre and aero model until drivers feel it’s close to the real thing.

    4. I’ll believe it when I see it. Davidson for years talked about how much he played the game and helped them make it realistic. That turned out to be a fabrication.

      1. He was paid off to say those things. Watch a series on youtube “f1 driver reacts to codemasters f1 games”

    5. Russell shocked by F1 2020’s improved handling for Williams. “If only this was real life,” he said.

    6. Damage off is training wheels. Russell was out early, and still won. If I had a dime for every wall hit I saw…

      1. Ha, ha, indeed it looked like they were using the wall to straighten the car on purpose at some points. Just bang the rear wheels in the wall and done.

    7. What’s weird is that the two explicit changes to address the gap from “real life” given by Norris and Russel are two aspects which are actually easier in the game than in life it seems : the energy recovery management and the late downshift to help entry.

      1. harder in the game than in real life obviously

    8. At least he’ll get to try a real car before the first race, unlike the McLaren drivers who can’t get a 2018 Honda engined car. Opps.

      1. Same for verstappen and albon.
        The Renault keeps haunting them.

        1. Bet they get a Honda engined car from Toro Wotsit to play with.

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