It’s safe to say that F1 2021 is quite a bit different in some areas to its predecessor, F1 2020. The game might have its pros and cons, but we aren’t going to focus on those today.
We’re here to focus on the basics that you need to know to get up to speed in F1 2021.
Assessing your career mode choices
The ever-popular Driver Career Mode returns in F1 2021, which sees you select one of the current Formula One teams to either maintain Mercedes domination or bring a midfield team to the top. You will be able to choose your teammate from the two real-life drivers of that team, and then be thrust into the world of racing.
There is also the option of doing a full or partial Formula Two season before your main F1 career mode, but once you get into F1, you will be tasked with upgrading the car that you have chosen to drive.
This will be done with the R&D points that you obtain, completing the practice programs to help improve its reliability, aerodynamics, or to gain more power down the straights. There is also the option to move to a new team in mid-season or at the end of the year, should you relish a new challenge.
The ground-breaking My Team Career Mode has also made a return in F1 2021. This mode allows you to create your own F1 team and be its driver and manager. Similar to the Driver Career Mode, you will have to improve your car’s overall performance and reliability, but there is a twist.
You will also need to upgrade and maintain your team’s facilities, sign driver contracts to arrange who your teammate is, and source engine suppliers and sponsors. It adds a whole new element to the traditional career mode.
A welcome addition in F1 2021 is the two-player career mode. This allows you to connect with a friend online and race either in the same team – helping to develop it and move up the grid – or go into rival teams and fight for the top spot in the World Championship. Each career mode choice provides hours of fun.
The new game mode: Braking Point
The biggest talking point for this year’s game is the addition of the Braking Point story mode. This is a whole new feature to the F1 franchise, being the first attempt at a racing story mode by Codemasters for quite some time.
The player will take on the role of Aiden Jackson, a young, up-and-coming driver with ambitions to drive for a top team in Formula One. The player can choose between Racing Point (Aston Martin), AlphaTauri, Williams, Alfa Romeo, and Haas to drive for, with the game starting in the 2019 season of F2 before advancing to F1 in 2020 and remaining here into 2021.
The player will also be able to drive as Jackson’s teammate, Casper Ackerman, for a period as well. Ackerman is a veteran of the sport but one who is contemplating his future thanks to the arrival of his new teammate. Devon Butler, the villain from F1 2019’s F2 story mode, makes his return as well, being as slippery and cocky as ever.
There are plenty of twists and turns in this mode, and you get to explore each character and what drives them.
More to explore in F1 2021
Grand Prix Mode allows you to race a full season as a real-life F1 driver. You can hop into any one of the 2021 teams and cars and take on the role of the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, or Max Verstappen.
F2 also returns to the fold. As of right now, the 2020 F2 season is available to play, with F2 2021 set to be added a little further down the line as a free update.
Weirdly, though, the classic cars have been removed from the game this year. Whilst Codemasters said that their main focus was on Braking Point, but that still doesn’t add up as to why the classic cars were removed. This is doubly unfortunate, as the game has had a major price hike following EA’s takeover of the studio. No doubt, many fans won’t be happy with paying more for less content overall.
Multiplayer Mode grants the option to play in split-screen – an old feature by 2021 standards, but one that can still provide endless fun if you have a friend round and want to play the same game together. There is also a dedicated eSports section for those aiming to take their racing to the next level.
The 2021 F1 cars themselves drive slightly differently this year thanks to real-life changes to downforce levels in Formula One, but they are still great fun to drive and, in some ways, more enjoyable to master than they were in F1 2020.
That, then, is an overview and beginner’s guide to all of the major modes and features of F1 2021. The game is a step forward graphically to F1 2020, features the new driving physics that you expect from the 2021 cars, and Braking Point certainly adds a new element to a franchise that has gone from strength to strength in recent years.