With the release of F1 2021 comes a chance to drive the latest breed of Formula One cars, which this year are subtly different thanks to the changes in the floors and cuts to downforce.
However, the F1 game from Codemasters is not solely about cars from the highest tier. Now, of course, the game includes Formula Two, the official feeder series for Formula One.
So, this is a profile of the F2 cars in F1 2021, with further details about what they’re like to drive.
The F2 car itself
Formula Two, and GP2 as it was formerly known, has undergone a few chassis changes in its history and the series is currently running the F2 2018 chassis.
The chassis are built by Dallara and powered by a Mecachrome V6 turbocharged engine – a fuel efficient 3.4-litre engine that replaced the aging V8 of the previous generation of car.
The car was sculpted to be a little more in line with the current generation of Formula One cars, with the aim, of course, to provide as closely-matched racing as possible to the top tier.
For those unfamiliar with F2 itself, each team and driver runs the same F2 2018 chassis with that Mecachrome engine. The current format for events has qualifying and practice on Friday, two sprint races on Saturday, a feature race on Sunday.
The cars are trickier to drive than the F1 cars (which we will get onto in a minute), and they are a completely different animal to the downforce-laden Grand Prix cars.
Driving the Dallara F2 2018
Currently in the F1 2021 game, we have access to the previous year’s F2 season, but the 2021 season will come as an additional free update, allowing you to play two seasons of F2 action.
As we have alluded too, these cars are trickier to drive, with a lot less downforce than a Formula One car, and with a huge amount of torque from the rear wheels as you exit a corner.
This means that as you put the power down, you have to be ultra-careful not to spin the rear wheels up and send your car around, whilst also being mindful that you will be braking earlier and carrying less speed through a corner.
Take the fast left and right-handers following Turn 1 in Abu Dhabi, for example. In an F1 car, you might be flat out, but you certainly won’t be in the F2 car.
Racing the F2 car
Whilst they are trickier to handle, this makes the cars much more rewarding to drive and race once you get to grips with the vehicle.
There isn’t an overtake mode to play with, either. The only assist that you have to make a move is DRS, which isn’t as powerful on a Formula Two car due to the rear-wing flap being smaller than on an F1 car. Almost every move that you make has to be brave and committed, making the racing hard, but mostly fair.
Completing a race in the F2 car is supremely good fun, with the Dallara machine providing a much more raw and pure driving experience over the F1 cars – a bit like an IndyCar.
The Formula 2 car might be a simpler machine overall, but it isn’t any less spectacular to drive than and F1 car, and in some cases, it is more spectacular.
Formula Two has grown in popularity in recent years, so it was a shrewd move by Codemasters to include the series in the game from F1 2019 onwards. It adds to the overall value of the F1 2021 game, and helps players experience what is a vital part of the road to Formula One.
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