F1 2021 adds Senna, Schumacher and five more “icons” to My Team mode

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Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and five other famous F1 figures can be hired as team mates in F1 2021’s updated My Team mode, Codemasters and EA Sports announced today.

In a first for the official F1 game series series, players who purchase the Digital Deluxe edition of F1 2021 will have the ability to hire seven famous names from the last 30 years.

The seven “icons” that Digital Deluxe edition owners will be able to select are Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg.

The classic drivers will be locked behind a three-tier system, with players given the opportunity to hire a single icon of their choosing at the start of the game. Details of which icons will be locked behind each tier or which drivers will be available from the start of the game are yet to be revealed.

With the return of My Team, each driver available will again have an ability rating attached. While the ratings for the 2021 field will be revealed at a later date, the ratings for the ‘icons’ have been announced.

Codemasters F1 2020 screenshot - Mercedes end racism livery
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Schumacher and Senna have been given an equal rating of 94, just one more than Prost (93). Button will have a driver rating of 90, higher than Rosberg (89). The only two non-champions in the selection will have the lowest rating among the ‘icons’: Coulthard (87) and Massa (86).

Codemasters and EA Sports also revealed Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc will also feature on the game’s cover art.

F1 2021 will by released on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC through Steam on Friday 16 July. The Digital Deluxe edition is available for £74.99 on the official PlayStation store, while the standard edition of the game will retail for £59.99

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‘Icon’ driver ratings

DriverExperienceAwarenessRace craftPaceOverall
Michael Schumacher9892939694
Ayrton Senna7996979494
Alain Prost8592939493
Jenson Button9895948590
Nico Rosberg8691898889
David Coulthard9186918687
Felipe Massa9486888586

F1 2021 Deluxe Edition trailer

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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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  • 41 comments on “F1 2021 adds Senna, Schumacher and five more “icons” to My Team mode”

    1. With 11 wins in 15 years, I can’t help but feel Massa may have blagged his way onto this list a little bit.

      Damon Hill won 22.

      1. I expect it’s a mixture of a few things. Probably a combination of Massa blagging his way in a bit, as you say, him perhaps being a little less strict on his image rights than Hill, and probably trying to appeal more to the Brazilian/South American region (I can imagine a lot of people in Brazil trying to win the WC Massa nearly won in 2008)

        1. @randommallard

          probably trying to appeal more to the Brazilian/South American region

          I think Senna does that just fine though! Why not someone like Hakkinen? Or if Brazilian, Nelson Piquet (Senior, obviously)?

          1. Yeah I thought of that as well but there are 2 German drivers as well, and 2 British ones. Perhaps it has something to do with having a mix of older ones and more recent ones as well, but that’s just a guess. Massa and Senna both have a kind of ‘what if’ factor about their careers if they hadn’t had their respective crashes, while Coulthard and Rosberg have a similar one regarding what if their teammate at the time wasn’t one of the best drivers of their generation.

            1. @randommallard I guess they know their markets! It’s just difficult to see the rationale. I’d have thought the more different nationalities, the better.

          2. And I mean it’s clear they’ve had the Schumacher, Prost and Senna licenses for a while, so it may be that Codemasters are trying to implement the ‘what if’ factor to an extent @david-br

            1. @randommallard That makes some sense. I’m sure for Brazilians the ‘what if’ for Massa includes ‘what if’ Hamilton hadn’t passed Timo Glock on the last corner of Interlagos 2008.The thing is, if Hamilton hadn’t gone to Mercedes, it could have been Ricciardo there (I think DR said they had sounded him out as a backup option). So would Rosberg have won all those championships even without Hamilton there?

            2. Perhaps, so @david-br, but apparently Nico Hulkenberg was Merc’s preference if they couldn’t get Lewis. The number of potential ‘what if’ scenarios in F1 is fascinating. I think Aidan Millward seemed to start a good series about it (what if Clark wasn’t killed at Hockenheim, and Senna at Imola), but then kinda stopped cause everyone wanted the historical stories back!

          3. @david-br as you say, you would have thought that Senna would have been a draw for the Brazilian market – then again, it is more than a generation since his death and few under the age of 35 would have any direct memories of Senna on track, and his foundation have noted that they are now facing more challenges in knowing how to approach an audience where Senna is simply a name and a photograph.

            If you think about it, for a younger Brazilian audience, Massa may well be a more recognisable figure given his recent participation and having been one of the more high profile Brazilian drivers of recent years.

            With regards to Nelson Piquet, as I understand it, he’s not a hugely popular driver in his home nation – the acrimony with Senna in the 1980s and 1990s didn’t really endear him to many, and in more recent years Piquet’s name is associated with his son’s participation in Crashgate.

      2. Well, Massa is a FIA karting president, so he probably has good connections currently. And Coulthard and Button are working within the F1 world.

        Wondering why on earth would Rosberg score worse than Button in their view. Although we all know how these numbers are pretty random anyway.

      3. Hahahaha, Massa for sure paid to be up there

    2. DC, Massa, Rosberg, icons of what? Not of F1 glory that’s for sure. (I know about Rosberg winning a title)

      Reply moderated
    3. Interesting. I wonder which season did they base these ratings? Or did they base them on entire career? Button on 94 racecraft, which is defined as ability to overtake, seems a bit odd. I can agree if that was for his 2011 Canada GP performance though.

      1. Pedro Andrade
        17th May 2021, 17:55

        Button was actually a good overtaker throughout most of his career

      2. @krichelle Button’s racecraft was pretty good in a sense: excellent tyre preservation, strategy calls, good on wet tracks, also mostly avoided collisions and good at calculated overtaking. His weaker point is reflected in the stats: 85 for pace.

        1. Fair enough then. I don’t think I can buy the deluxe edition, but it’s fantastic to see these drivers added. Maybe I just did not notice Button overtaking drivers that much and effectively.

          1. @krichelle Here he is overtaking 8 in one lap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9ba_MUXYtM :O)
            True it wasn’t that often…

    4. Why does Prost look like he is 75 years old and all the other are in that age when they raced?!

      1. Well, they can hardly ask Schumacher or Senna for a recent picture @qeki! I think it also might have just been Prost’ own choice. He was already over 40 when he won his last championship as well, so maybe its just a picture from the end of his career?

        1. @bascb Not yet 40. 38 to be precise, but close enough. The image above is most likely from his last WDC year.

    5. A fun touch which I’m sure people will enjoy, but I like a certain degree of realism to my gaming experience and dropping Senna on to the present day grid just feels weird to me. Granted, my imagination is already stretched by including myself on the grid… but that’s as far as I go!

      I’d prefer to see this sort of thing on a ‘Classic Mode’ or ‘Legends Mode’ or ‘Champions Mode’, where you could have a number of classic drivers and classic cars and potentially classic tracks and jumble it all up and have some fun races and scenarios. Ideally, I’d love to have classic scenario’s available on each game, for example, the ability to change history and play as Hill trying to get past Schumacher to win the title in 1994, or as Senna defending from Mansell in Monaco in 1992… obviously that’s a lot more image rendering and coding to get done, but would be a fun touch.

      1. @ben-n F1 2012, ’13, and ’14 games have scenarios, but I wouldn’t mind if these types of play modes got included again.

      2. @ben-n one issue that has been highlighted is that it can sometimes be difficult to get the right sort of licencing rights from the different parties involved – not just the teams, but third parties such as engine suppliers or tyre suppliers come to mind too. The heavy presence of tobacco companies creates problems with recreating the liveries of that era, and of course there are also the licencing issues with the tracks themselves.

        It’s not to say that it can’t be done, but it is probably harder to do – and I suppose there is the question of whether there is enough of a demand to make it worthwhile. Is there enough of a demand amongst the wider audience, rather than just the specialist audience, to make it worth the effort? I don’t know if that is necessarily the case, and how many are mostly interested in buying the game for access to the latest cars, not older ones.

      3. @ben-n I have to agree, I’m happy that they are there for people who want to use them, but I don’t want them in my career, I like to think that the limit of my imagination is me being on the grid, a 61yr old Ayrton Senna making a very surprising comeback for Aston Martin in place of Stroll after Spa just sort of ruins whatever illusion it is I’ve created for myself.

        Looking at the list, only Coulthard hasn’t appeared in a Codemasters game until now.

      4. This is fairly standard in FIFA Ultimate Team which does include “Icon” cards of legendary players from the past that you can insert intonyljr team. EA just taking a page from that.

    6. £60???

      No way.

      Reply moderated
      1. Quite a number of games release at that price in UK……

    7. And the EA takeover begins with crappy “deluxe” editions. Just wait till we have F1 loot boxes

      1. They’ve had premium editions with extra material previously. Last year it was a Michael Schumacher edition.

        1. Nevermind that this is standard practice for many publishers outside EA for years now. Capcom’s Resident Evil 8 for example released last week had a deluxe edition.

          Even Sony’s Returnal, a PS5 first party exclusive, did the same: except that game BASE edition is £70 MSRP while its Deluxe is £80!!

      2. Long shot prediction: Higher microtransactions or lower microtransactions.

    8. ‘Hire’ a driver? What is this? Is this no longer a driving game?

      1. @balue MyTeam mode is where you are basically a driver-owner of a team. You run the whole team’s operations, but you are also one of the drivers.

    9. Massa, Nico Rosberg and Coulthard as icons is a bit much, isn’t it??! So where are Mansell, Raikkonen, Damon Hill and Mika Häkkinen in the History of F1?

      1. Raikkonen will obviously already be in the game as a current driver, despite starting 5 years before ‘Icon’ Nico Rosberg and being team-mates to Massa and Coulthard! His longevity is pretty amazing.

      2. Depends, in terms of F1 career achievements one can certainly make a solid case. But Hill, Häkkinen and especially Mansell are drivers few fans who are of an age to purchase and spend much time with games (a slight generalization, but Codemasters and EA will know a thing or two about their audience) will have seen race live. As such, there won’t be a whole lot of enthusiasm for these guys, world champions or not. Given enough time, even today’s stars will be known primarily by their career stats rather than any memory of their racecraft.

    10. Hope you’re getting paid for running these ads at this point.

      EA doesn’t deserve it for free. They have more than enough money.

      1. Don’t see how this is an ad lolz.

    11. I’d like to see these games go a bit further back in time. When they included a bunch of historic cars in 2019, the earliest was the 1972 lotus. It’d be cool to see at least 1 car from each decade. Wrestling a front engined 50s car and sliding a wingless Lotus 49 would be cool if nothing else!

    12. Those wondering why world champions from the 90s have been left off and some drivers that didn’t win a championship are on the list need to remember that this is a video game. 1996 was 25 years ago, which means most fans from that era are at least in their 30s. They picked a bunch of icons that would be more relevant to the target audience of the game. The only two that didn’t race in the modern area in that list are Senna and Prost. Their omission in the original release would be rightfully seen as cynical, with an update coming after game release to keep the buzz going. I suspect that there will be DLC with other drivers through the first year of the game.

    13. Leigh Abbott
      21st May 2021, 10:25

      David Coulthard though. Really? They could have included Niki Lauda or something. His passing is still recent; and should be well known to any ‘youth’ who has watched Formula One over the past 5 years.

      Reply moderated

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