Codemasters’ “F1 2019” game, which I play on the PC, features a “career mode” that consists of three events of the F2 2018 championship: Spain, Austria, and Abu Dhabi, the closing race. When a player plays the “career” mode, he/she must first complete these F2 events, before graduating to F1.
There is no “practice” mode in the game; the closest to it, is an option to race timed laps. This means that, for first time players, like myself, the handling of the car will be a complete unknown and unless playing on a very low difficulty level, success (race wins) is impossible.
My career is against A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) set at 98% and no driver assists, other than some traction control. The game should warn you that you cannot change these settings, ever, unless starting a new career. Makes sense, but the game’s defaults for the Logitech G29 racing steering wheel – my controller – feel so bad, that I had to spend significant time in tuning it to an “acceptable” state. That meant many F2 2018 Spain restarts, until I could control the car, at all.
At some point, I was comfortable enough to complete the challenges. I recorded videos of those three F2 events.
F1 2019 has great visuals, but its handling is well below the superb rFactor 2 (RF2) standard. RF2 feels “natural”. The behavior you get from the RF2 cars is just credible. Yet, because of its “social” component, including ESPORTS, F1 2019 is gathering momentum. It is “unfair” from a realism perspective, but it is what it is. I suppose F1 2019’s realism deficit versus not only RF2 but also versus iRacing, is rooted on its compromise to support gaming consoles (Playstation, XBOX), which are devices for audiences who prefer “fun” with stick controllers above “simulation”.
Today and in the next two days, I publish the “TV perspective” videos of events #1 to #3 of 3.
Event #1/3 is the closing laps of the Spain 2018 F2 race. In this first game “career” challenge, the story sets you with a “turbo issue” and a request from your team, to let your teammate pass. I did not have the pace to hold my teammate, so the request was easy to comply with :).
As the video shows, although the car was “controllable”, I was locking the brakes too often, due to inexperience, a yet poor control setup (that would improve days later, but remains still far from perfect), and because of damage that I suffered from contact against another car. “Damage” is another setting that you cannot change without erasing all the saved game data and restarting the “career”. I am playing with “damage” one level below the max “simulation”, and that means that contacts will cause handling and performance problems. The video clearly depicts the car parts that have sustained impacts.