Posted on 27 Jul 2020 by K-putt

F1 2020

The Defence

Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Genre: Racing, Simulator
Platform: Consoles, PC
Review copy: Yes
Release date: 09 Jul 2020

The Prosecution

OS: Windows
CPU: Intel Core i3 3.4 GHz
AMD FX 3.8 GHz
VGA: Nvidia GeForce 640
AMD Radeon HD 7750
HDD: 80 GB
DirectX: 11
Controller: Full
Mod Support: Yes
VR: Possible
FOV Slider: Yes
FPS Lock: 120+
OS: Windows
CPU: Intel Core i5 4.6 GHz
AMD Ryzen 5 4.2 GHz
VGA: Nvidia GeForce 1160
AMD Radeon RX 590
RAM: 16 GB
HDD: 80 GB
DirectX: 12
Controller: Full
Mod Support: Yes
VR: Possible
FOV Slider: Yes
FPS Lock: 120+

The Case

It’s here. Rather late, but considering the circumstances, we surely understand. Besides, it actually arrived earlier than the actual F1 season for once. 2020 is a weird year. And it doesn’t stop at the new F1 game. The actual real world season is a weird one with races getting announced a month before they actually happen. Usually these things are written in stone at the start of the year. This game however, features all the racetracks. Coupled with a “My Team” career. Which of course I’ll be going into detail about if you won’t stop reading right about now because let me tell you, it’s quite good.

The Trial

Still here? Good, because I wanna start with the new “My Team” mode right away. It’s that fun. You choose a name, an engine, a livery, your main sponsor and a second driver for the team if you start that mode. You don’t have much money so you either grab a good engine like Ferrari or Mercedes and go for a sponsor deal that might be a tad more difficult to reach. Or you go for a cheap engine, a good second driver and an easy sponsor deal. These sponsor deals give you a weekly income as well as a season income. These seasonal incomes have goals attached to them however. Things like “Earn 15 Constructors Championship Points” or “Finish 10th in the Constructors Championship” down to just … finishing a season. You also get a couple million for just signing the contract. And with those millions you build your team. Once the team is built, you can start your season with an interview with Will Buxton. Even though his face doesn’t look like the one from official F1 broadcasts, you can tell it’s him asking you the tough questions.

You can now choose between different lengths of a season. So you don’t need to drive on all the 22 race tracks to finish the season. I of course went with the full 22 race season because why wouldn’t you. Fortunately the 2 new tracks are early on in the season so I got to experience the Vietnam GP as well as the Dutch GP early on. Since the new Vietnam GP is a street circuit it didn’t really appeal to me strictly from a driving perspective. The Dutch GP on the Zandvoort race track however…  that one’s fun. Still not as many overtaking opportunities as I’d like. But it’s rather fun to drive on with its very fast banking corners. Luckily for me the qualifying was on a sunny dry race track. The race on the other hand was in the rain. And the cars do very much feel more alive on the wet now. You have to fight the rear to not break out. Be way more careful with the throttle and breaks in and out of corners. It’s certainly more challenging to drive on the wet than before. But it does feel more ‘realistic’ and rewarding than in previous games. Same with the controls on a dry circuit. That said, I feel like I’ve written this exact same text year after year. And I tend to go back and play the previous game just to make sure it’s not just a placebo. It’s not. They do drive differently. And usually more responsive, more believable or just more fun in the new game.

I’m choosing you, Mick Schumacher!

Like in the previous F1 games you earn points by completing testing programs, winning against your team mate, rival or just having a good finishing position. Points you can put into better engine part development or aero designs et cetera. But if you remember, there’s now also money involved. And that well earned cash money can be invested in your different development departments to either upgrade the passive point generation over a week or for instance a smaller chance of failure if you do decide to spend some points on some new parts. There’s also a driver development office where you can spend the money on a better simulator for your second driver. That one will increase his ability to… drive. A nice touch are the little animations they did for each office. Whereas your teammate will sit in that simulator on that team development menu or the aero team holding one of those foggy sticks in a wind tunnel to simulate the turbulence over the car.

Remember these boring parts between the races where all you had to do was investing your points in parts development? Well, that’s still the case to be fair. But the smart people of Codemasters figured that that’s not enough in that downtime. It’s F1 and you gotta manage a team. And sometimes there’s weeks between races. Time that can be spent on a marketing campaign, a team event which raises the moral or just an aero department focus. It really makes you feel like a F1 team owner. There’s also interviews on those days off and not just after a race or qualifying.

F1_2020_R_24 = Look at this cool foggy stick that man has!

Another new addition is the split screen mode. You’ve read that right. Split Screen. In this day and age. And not exclusive to consoles for once! Unfortunately I don’t know anyone near me who likes to drive in circles on virtual race tracks. Nonetheless I tried it out with my girlfriend and lo and behold, it’s indeed a split screen mode. On my PC. In 2020. It also gave me a chance to check out that new accessible handling model. Which isn’t just the computer braking for you, but rather an overall different experience. It’s basically the assisted mode from Mario Kart but in a Formula 1 game. Going off track isn’t really punished. The car is steering and braking for you. Perfect for when your 6 year old nephew is coming around to play some games with you. Now he might actually have a chance at winning against you. Maybe. Probably not though since he’ll drive into walls for 10 minutes and then tell me how bad this game is. Poor Schuhmacher. Who’s also in the game, by the way. His iconic Sauber or Ferrari’s are in F1 2020 now. Together with his helmet and some special liveries for you to choose from. Those can be used online or even in your “My Team” career. However, you can’t put any sponsors on those for some reason.

Visually, the game is basically unchanged. There’s now a variable resolution option to keep a steady framerate. HDR, well frankly it didn’t work on my end. But I blame Windows rather than Codemasters for that one. There’s also some funky AMD stuff that oversharpens the image. Or a software based upscaler which, to me anyways, looks like the game was upscaled with the nearest neighbor upscaler algorithm. It’s not good. At all. Though, perhaps it’s still better than running the game in an actual lower resolution and letting the driver or display do the upscaling. It’s certainly no checkerboard rendering or Nvidia’s DLSS. Otherwise, the game doesn’t look a whole lot different to last year’s game. And that’s fine. The game looks stunning as you can tell by the images. And as always, options galore. Look at any Codemasters game review and you can tell they love their PC versions. You can set up everything. Even the config file is still configurable unlike most other games these days. And of course modding is on board as well. Unofficial, sure. But it’s there and you’ll be able to change some liveries or textures of some race track sponsors.

The Verdict

Should you, as a F1 2019 owner, get this new game? Maybe. If you want to create your own team. Want to play against your friends that sit right next to you or you just need the newest racetracks. There’s plenty of reasons why you should pick this one up. Of course, overall it’s still a Codemasters F1 game. But year over year they keep adding stuff that makes these games more enjoyable.

Case Review

  • My Team: Managing your own F1 racing team adds a whole new layer to the game.

  • Settings: It’s like clockwork with Codemasters and their PC versions. Settings galore

  • Split Screen: Now you can finally show all your couch friends how good you can drive.

  • Font: The official Formula 1 Wipeout look-alike font is still unreadable at times.

4.5 Score: 4.5/5
An incremental upgrade over 2019 but a worthwhile one.


  • Video: A plethora of options are on board as always here. Of course the resolution can be changed to whatever you want. Even your own custom resolutions. TAA, Dynamic Resolution or HDR are on board as well. There’s also 16 different graphical options available. Things like Ambient Occlusion, Crowd, Skidmarks and even Asynchronous Compute.
  • Audio: Sliders for Master, Effects, Speed and Music are on board. Together with options for subtitles or Dynamic Range. You could even use a different audio output just for the radio chatter from your mechanic.
  • Controls: Everything is rebindable. Deadzones can be adjusted. Force feedback and rumble features can be changed.
  • On-Screen Display: Options for Speedometer Units (KPH or MPH) and Temperature Units (C° or F°). An option for what kind of track map you want. A full minimap or just a zoomed in view of the corner you’re currently in. Driver Tags, Proximity Arrows and Start Lights can also be toggled. There’s also toggles for the virtual rear mirror or the permanent session timer for things like your place or lap you’re on. F1 2020 also comes with Tobii Eye Tracking support. So you can have a clean UI for when you focus on the center of the screen and have the UI pop up when you look into the corners of your monitor.
  • Camera: Yes, there’s a FOV slider. And you can change each specific camera view to your liking. Be it the angle, near clip plane, the horizontal or vertical offset. Even a toggle for the halo column to be invisible.

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