F1 2021 to launch in July – but three new tracks won’t arrive until later

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Codemasters’ official Formula 1 game franchise will take its first step onto the next-generation of consoles with the release of F1 2021 on Friday 16th July.

The inaugural entry into the long-running official F1 series to be published by EA Sports is also the first to be released on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles. The game is also coming to the PS4 and Xbox One as well as PC, through Steam.

F1 2021 will feature a brand new story mode. However the Imola, Algarve and new-for-2021 Jeddah circuits which were added to the calendar after last year’s release won’t be immediately available at launch.

The full roster of 23 circuits will eventually be featured in F1 2021, as the three new tracks will be made available to all players as a free download after the game has launched.

The new story mode, titled ‘Braking Point’, is the headline addition for this year’s game. Players will be guided from Formula 2 up to Formula 1 over a narrative journey that long time game director Lee Mather says has been “years in the making”.

While there is very little information about the story of Braking Point, Codemasters and EA have confirmed that the cast of original characters in the mode includes the return of nemesis character Devon Butler, first introduced in F1 2019. More information on the new story mode will be unveiled over the months before release.

The MyTeam mode, which proved a popular addition to last year’s game, will return for a second season. While there is no word yet of any enhancements to it, Codemasters have announced that players who buy the Digital Deluxe version of the game will earn the ability to hire one of seven to-be-announced “iconic F1 drivers” as their team mate.

The standard driver career mode is also available, and players will finally be able to team up online once again with the return of co-op functionality. This allows two players to race together as team mates or fight for the title in rival teams.

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For the first time, players will be given the option to select ‘Real-Season Start’, allowing them to begin their career mode from the exact same point in the calendar as the real life championship with up-to-date points standings included. Car and driver customisation will also return, as will the PitCoin virtual currency used to purchase customisation items in-game.

F1 2021 will be the series’ first release for next-generation consoles, and the first since Codemasters was acquired by gaming giant EA Sports.

PS5 and Xbox Series X/S players will benefit from higher fidelity graphics and faster loading times thanks to their solid state drive hardware. Players who purchase the game on PS4 will be able to upgrade to the PS5 version for free, while those who buy the Xbox One edition will be able to play on Xbox Series X/S through the Xbox Smart Delivery programme.

F1 2021 will arrive on Friday 16th July. The Digital Deluxe Edition is available to pre-order now, and gives players three days of early access, exclusive Braking Point-themed customisation items, seven ‘F1 icon’ team mates in MyTeam and 5,000 PitCoins.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 17 comments on “F1 2021 to launch in July – but three new tracks won’t arrive until later”

    1. Stephen Higgins
      15th April 2021, 16:29

      Shame they can’t / haven’t worked out a way to mix Story Mode and My Team Mode together, that’d be an interesting concept!

    2. Good to know about PS4 so that I don’t have to get myself a PS5 yet, even if I’ll probably buy it sooner or later anyway.
      What I’m surprised about is the later release than in the recent past. I was expecting around France-Austria time, not British GP practice day.

      1. I wish they’d continue to develop games for PS4, cause I only play F1 2020 at the moment. I do not want to buy that PS5 yet. It feels a bit too early. What I do hope though, is that the game will not be graphic dependent, because in F1 2018, higher frames per second meant that you could have lower tyre temperatures. I think we have not had these issues ever since, so it should be fine I guess. Just gutted not to be having Mugello and Turkey in the game, but at least we have Imola, Algarve and Jeddah.

    3. Gutted not to see a ‘real 2020’ mode like they did with F1 2014/15, particularly for Mugello

      1. @swh1386 Given how they won’t even be able to release Imola, Portimao, and Jeddah at launch, it was highly doubtful they would be able to add the likes of Nurburgring, Mugello, and Istanbul Park.

    4. don’t really like arcade racers. would love to see F1 in iRacing, AC or raceroom tho

      Reply moderated
    5. I’d like to see any and all of Codemasters’ PC games add proper support for triple screens. Sometimes called projection correction, this renders the side screens’ views independently, taking into account the angle that the player will have rotated them to maximise the field of view angle and to ensure their eyeline is at 90 degrees to every screen.

      All of the Codemasters games so far have assumed that all 3 screens are instead positioned at identical angles, which is unrepresentative, as desks just aren’t that wide. If the player does rotate the side screens, the result is that Codemasters games horizontally stretch the side screens in a ridiculous way, horribly distorting the perspective.

      Weirdly, there are only about 10 sims doing this properly. The following site lists most of them. Since then, the tiny developer behind KartKraft has added it too, so if they can achieve this, Codies can too.

      https://www.racedepartment.com/threads/games-list-with-true-triple-screen-and-or-vr-support.158838/

    6. Time to end Devon Butler’s career once again LOL.

    7. So actually finishing the game before releasing it is too much to ask now.

      1. Games haven’t been finished at launch for years now

    8. That braking point storyline looks promising. I hope it’s as good as it was in those TOCA games back in the day.

    9. Heard “Akkerman” mentioned in the trailer. So no Lukas Weber?

    10. Not gonna lie, it sounds like one of the least effort upgrades they’ve done in years. Add a few cutscenes, update the models slightly, remove Vietnam, then maybe sometime before 2022 comes out add the new tracks.

      The latter of course isn’t their fault, but other than that I don’t see how this year especially they can defend selling what sounds as best as a 10 dollar DLC pack for full price?

      1. Yeah I can’t say I’m too impressed by the information that they’ve released so far. On top of that, the price in my region has more than tripled since last years version, and the addition of micro-transactions that they started with last year seems to be ramping up even more.

        I see very little incentive to buy the new version of the game as it stands. Will probably just wait and see if they release a definitive addition at a later stage at a reduced price.

    11. Have to be honest, that sounds pretty poor of them not including the new tracks at launch. Let’s give them Saudi (since the layout was only released quite recently) but last year’s laziness not including the other two tracks (Portimao and Imola) seems to have come back to bite.

    12. It should clearly be a 10 dollars dlc

      Reply moderated
    13. In the age of subscriptions, why don’t they just make a single “F1 Game” that has a yearly subscription an access to all the seasons/tracks amassed so far? The big plus is that game engine improvements carry over to all your seasons, like in the latest Hitman games. Furthermore, they could even add meaningful micro-transactions such as team specific content whose sale actually supports that team. I’d be far more willing to pay for content if it carries over across seasons, what today they call “brand-new games.”

      Reply moderated

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