Codemasters F1 2020

While it goes without saying that there have been very few bright spots in the year 2020, the resumption of the F1 season has at least brought some normalcy to the second half of the year and given race fans something more positive to dwell on rather than potential unemployment and safety concerns.

It’s hard to say what motivated Codemasters to allocate sufficient resources to substantially rejuvenate their long running F1 20xx series. But suffice it to say that this year will also go down as the one that the software developer has not only improved the physics model enough to put it on sim racers’ radar display, but also added an exciting new career mode called My Team, which appeals to those players who demand more than an accurate driving simulation to justify their investment. In other words, both fans and critics seem to be paying attention.

My Team (MT) is, well for this flight sim group, the best analogy that I can think of is that it’s most like Air Hauler for F1. That is you are handed a few million Euros and allowed to create a race team, which has been granted an F1 license. You will need to build and paint a car, hire another driver, find sponsors, invest in technical improvements, participate in media events and interviews, and all the while drive the car to a certain performance level to continue to fund and grow the team. There are a number of YouTube channels a player’s MT journey, and this one is probably the most thorough.

But since it’s been a while since I booted an F1 sim, maybe a decade, having burned out on them in the 2000s, I wanted to dip my toe in the water, before taking the full My Team plunge. Likewise, I wanted to use F1 2020 to learn more about the current real life F1 series, including the teams, drivers, rules, and technology. It appears that what was once KERS is now ERS, and what the heck are DRS and DRS zones anyway? To that end, I built a simple series matching the current FIA Formula one schedule as closely as possible. Codemasters has stated that they are going to present the 2020 F1 schedule as it was in early March, and that they are not going to be adding the COVID-19 circuits, including any late additions. Disappointing - yes, but when you see the level of detail that CM has done for each venue, you will better understand the necessity for this position. To be sure, it’s not only the development time and expense to create new tracks, but the approval process along the way, including that from the FIA, track operators, console manufacturers, etc. Like Formula 1 itself, this is a massive franchise and undertaking.

The season that I created, which is done simply enough in the game > Solo > Grand Prix > Create New Grand Prix screen, by adding circuits and choosing event and driving options, includes GPs in Austria, Hungary, Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, Italy, and Russia. I ignored consecutive weekend events of the real series in Austria, Great Britain, and Italy, and left out the late additions of Portimao, Nurburgring and 2-day event in Imola, since those tracks weren’t on the March 2020 schedule and aren’t included in the game. For drivers wanting events at those tracks, or to drive in VR for that matter, I’ll point you to Assetto Corsa and the excellent RSS F1 Hybrid 2020 and Crew Chief mods. That’s right, no VR in F1 2020. Will not debate that decision here, but I will say that the AC VR experience is fantastic.

Since the first GP on my schedule is Austria, I thought it best to complete this introduction of F1 with a series of screenshots from that event. For this series I chose to drive for McLaren as Lando Norris. Over the years, I’ve admired their organization, drivers, and for being seemingly the only team capable of doing battle with Renault, Williams, and Ferrari, during each of those teams’ haydays. And currently, they are probably the most accessible team media wise. Eschewing the traditional stodgy driver behavior of the past, the affable and open Norris/Sainz duo, have made the team difficult not to like.

The cut scenes are excellent and as you find later, often require interaction from the you as the driver. Does that make them hybrids? Opening up for practice is this one of the McLaren’s garage and preparation for Practice Session 1.

During practice I am able to secure P3 on Medium compound tires (M), wanting to save my Soft (S) for qualifying and the race.

But the meteorologists got this all wrong and my One Shot choice of qually setting during the GP configuration ended up costing me 10 spots. A further bad decision to go with Wets (W) instead of Intermediates (I) put me down the order. I should have kept my driver cap on instead of race engineer.

On to the grid walk. I’m afraid that if this is Will Buxton, they’ve unnecessarily aged him at least a decade, the poor devil :smiley: Stroll or Perez, hard to tell?

The Safety Car lead us on a surprisingly quick reconnaissance lap. Then, the AI took over and guides your car to it’s grid position, something that I’d rather do, but at least I won’t be penalized for lining up in the wrong spot.

And we’re off. Having an axis mapped for clutch helps, although it’s mostly a matter of dropping it with the throttle pinned. Overcast skies would give way to a gradually brighter day, but a few sprinkles would arrive just before the finish.

I think that the sparks flying due to the cars being heavy with fuel is well done.

Turning my P13 qually into my first, but far from last, battle with the Racing Point cars of Perez and Stroll. I would rate the AI quite good at squeezing you off of the ideal line if you are not at least even with them going into a braking zone. The OT (ERS) button works well, but don’t make the mistake of sticking your nose in as the turn approaches unless you are prepared to lose part of it.

Having dispatched the pink twins, it took probably two laps to get past Ricardo. He was combative, but gentlemanly, conceding my McLaren in the braking zone at T1. BTW, does anyone know where the DRS indicator is on the McLaren wheel? Here you can see that I have ERS activated trying to pass Ricardo, but we are also in a DRS zone. I couldn’t tell when it was activated in the cockpit, but did see it pop open in the replay.

After Recardo, I approach the train of Sainz, Albon, and Leclerc. The Frenchman and I would battle for 3 or 4 laps, which was probably the toughest fight of the day.

The Ferrari office, which has an obvious DRS indicator. Notice the track side giant TVs showing your view in real time.

Leclerc not going away.

But Albon was my undoing. I stuck my nose in way late, and he said thank you, I’ll have that end plate and send you for a grass cutting session. When I rejoined it was with the likes of Alpha Romeo and Haas. Apparently, my people.

This dropped me a few places, but it was also time to pit. Of course my crew took forever to change the nose cone, maybe 5 seconds. So, exiting the pits put my back at P19. I managed to claw back to P14 for the finish, sadly dropping one place from qualifying. I have much to learn. Not so Verstappen.

Horner was elated to have taken on and beaten the seemingly invincible Mercedes.

Are you feeling like you are there in parc ferme yet? I know that I did.

A couple of incidents that happened in the last two laps, and I wonder if they were dynamic or scripted. 1) Perez’s engine blew going down the start straight and it was spectacular coming up behind him smoke trailing, and 2) my fuel exhausted couple of hundred yards from the flag allowing Kvyat to get me at the line. I’ll have to pay more attention to fuel load in the future. Now back to being a race engineer I guess. The team had been chirping about a new strategy, but I ignored it almost to my peril.

On to Hungary.


Looks awesome! Shame on the VR, but it still looks really good. Have you seen the F1 reality show on Netflix? I started it the other day, follows the teams through the season. Has a “Hard Knocks” feel to it and is very well done.


Thanks for the tip Gunny. Have not, but will look for it now.

It takes a lot longer than one year to make a game like this.

CM had to have been working on these things since 2018 at least, if not 2017, to have them in 2020. I wonder if that’s why 2018 seemed so off–they had resources dedicated to 2020 and gave it less care than it needed.

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Thanks for the info about f1 2020. Too bad they can do a ‘no fans’ options for the crowd. To replicate the real 2020 season.

I didn’t watch the first season of f1 drive to succeed, only the second. Man, Toto Wolff sounds so evil in it. Lol.


Same, i started on season 2 for some reason. I like the Haas manager. Reminds me of an old football coach.

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STTTEIINNEERRR. Man, didnt know how he kept it together, dealing with the drivers.


Ha! Complete with fake applause during the podium presentation. Was it Austria or Hungary that had the remote control trophy presenter? That was awkward.

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Today, I was playing around with the replays area in F1 2020, which is called Theater, and found this nifty export feature. If you have a video highlighted either in the Recent or Saved list, you can press F7 to export the video. It saves the export to a folder in your Windows profile “\Documents\My Games\F1 2020\highlights”. The file format is .WEBM. I wasn’t familiar with this file type and unfortunately, the editor that I use, Divinci Resolve free, won’t import this into the media library. There is no game sound with it either, only one of five available soundtracks, the first two of which are best described as generic techno. It’s also fairly compressed.

However, the playback is up to 2160p and the camera angles are pretty good. Here is the automatically created highlight video of my Hungarian GP. Mostly overtakes I’m afraid.

Unrelated issue: pit stop bug?

For the last two GPs, I’ve had an issue where I qualify mid pack, and work my up to around P6 by the time I’m called in to pit. I’m pretty quick to the pit entrance line, and get out pretty fast after release. When I rejoin, I am usually down to P15, which is the normal amount of places lost. I don’t worry, because I conclude that there must be some drivers that haven’t pitted, and that that I will gain positions back when they do. But I’m never finishing higher than the number of overtakes that I do until the end of the race. For instance, if I enter the pit in P7, exit the pit in P15, and then overtake 5 cars during the remaining laps, I finish P10. The AI cars don’t seem to loose places when they pit. There is no way that I am dropping more than a couple of seconds maximum to the AI during my pit stop, and obviously not enough to drop 8 places. Anyone else notice this?


Can’t say as I’ve seen this. Had the normal sequence where I’ll pass a bunch of guys who are in the pits, and typically end up around the same place I was when I pitted. That’s on career mode though.

A couple of ideas, are you staying out longer so the guys ahead of you already pitting, and the places you gain before your pitstop aren’t always overtakes? Or perhaps in that couple of laps difference between their pitsops and yours, they’re pulling out a gap on a different strategy? Hard to know without seeing the whole race. Maybe if you watch a full replay and cycle through different drivers you’ll see what’s going on.

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Thanks Roo. No, all of my place advancement have been with overtakes, save one car spinning off in Hungary, and Perez’s blown engine in Austria. I do have a replay of the whole race, but it’s captured from my cockpit. Would be good to watch a replay from a car a few places ahead to see where they paced me. I can see loosing a few places with a less than perfect pit stop, but not 8. I also checked to see that everyone made at least a single pit stop, and they did. I’m only driving a 25% race, so wonder if that’s an issue.

In Hungary I pitted lap 6 of a 20 lap race, because that’s when I was told to pit. I worried that I’d regret that later, and I did when my tires went off in the last 2 laps. But, any car pitting after me on a better schedule, would need to pass me later to take advantage of their better grip late in the race.

I’ll post a video of my pit stop and please tell me what I’ve done wrong :grin:

Edit: pit stop uploaded (at 2:02). It’s far from perfect. One thing that I noticed is that when I move to the pit lane, I overshoot. I wonder if somehow the race thinks that I’m not back on the track LOL?

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A couple of points:

  1. That engine must be absolutely knackered. Try shifting just as all of the shift lights come on. It takes a while to get used to, but reliability will be much better. Also makes me cringe less. :wink:

  2. Try shifting your brake bias to 50%. Your fronts will still lock before the rears and the tail doesn’t want to come around either, but you get much better braking performance.

  3. Still not certain what’s happening with the pitstops. I did notice that you got into a situation where other cars coming in were blocking your path, so that looses you a few places. The pit crew won’t release you until it’s clear, nothing much you can do. That time may be just enough that the guys who stopped on a different lap could also jump you, so that’s my best guess without seeing the whole race.

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Yeah, my shifting seemed adrenaline fueled, to be sure, and could be better. I usually add another 2 laps of fuel to the load if possible because of running out of fuel in Austria right at the finish. On the brakes, I usually have a setup with the brake pressure reduced to 60%, which seems to work perfectly with my pedal setup. I forgot to save it during practice and qualifying, so unfortunately it wasn’t available on the grid. So what you saw was my foot tuned to 60%, when it was actually 100. I’ll try moving the bias back a little, but the back end tends to get loose on some tracks, usually those with a lot of trail braking. You’re right, it would have been fine at Hungaroring. Thanks for taking a look.

:grimacing: Really? Only 3.6% of players have this “achievement”? It’s not even for winning :rofl:


Here’s the old first race highlight (well 2nd at the first track)

Before you say anything, homeboy got into his brake way earlier than I was anticipating.

Nice driving Mudcat. I saw what looked like an end plate come off one of the cars, but yours looked undamaged. That Music just sucks though. The next one I post will get something better.

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Thanks, I think it was one of his front wing fins, probably the side plate. Not sure, but I didn’t get damage that I recall till the end. AI seems rather feisty, hard getting use to having position and holding your line and them still coming down on you.

Like what Albon did to Magnussen yesterday :smiley:

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So I had my difficulty on “Custom” so I could fine tune exactly what I wanted. Turns out my choices are identical to “Elite.” Guess which achievement I’ll be getting next time I complete a race! :grinning:


Between this thread, and the Netflix show, I downloaded F1 2019 on Xbox free of charge to give it a go. I wasn’t an F1 fan last week, but they did a great job emulating the drivers. Very recognizable after I blasted through both seasons of Drive to Survive. I’ve always liked codemasters. They’ve done a great job here.


One thing that sticks out to me is who I battle race to race driving the McLaren. It’s usually a Racing Point, Renault, or AlphaTauri. Occasionally it will be a Ferrari or Red Bull, but never a Mercedes, and Alpha Romeo, or a Haas. So other than the Ferraris being a bit stronger than they should, it pretty much matches what I see on TV race weekends. I find that amazing, though sometimes I wonder if it is somehow scripted. They should issue an update to adjust power after 4 real F1 races. At least historically, after the 4th race, usually Barcelona, the team technological hierarchy is established.

And MyTeam is deep enough to keep our inner bean counter or technologist satisfied. I finally got around to launching a team, which I call Toyota West, based on a skin/asset repaint found in the F1 2020 forum at Race Department. The only incongruity to its birth is the fact that it is Honda powered :grin: