F1 24 Interview – Overhauled Handling, Career Mode Changes, and More

Senior creative director Lee Mather speaks with GamingBolt about how this year's F1 game will build on the series' tried-and-true formula.

Posted By | On 22nd, May. 2024

F1 24 Interview – Overhauled Handling, Career Mode Changes, and More

Year over year, Codemasters’ F1 series has done an admirable job of successfully building on its immaculate, authentic, detail-oriented racing sim gameplay in meaningful ways, and with the upcoming F1 24, the series seems to be targeting several such improvements once again. From a complete overhaul of how cars will handle on the track to a number of significant changes being made to the career mode, there’s plenty of note that Codemasters is doing with F1 24. To learn more about that and the biggest ways that F1 24 is looking to draw in players, we recently reached out to its developers with some of our questions. Below, you can read our interview with senior creative director Lee Mather.

F1 24_02

"With the real drivers now included, you’ll certainly notice the changes in our cut scenes where the drivers become the focus along with the significant improvement to the driver models."

For the first time ever, F1 24 will allow players to play as real drivers. What are the biggest ways that will change the experience compared to what fans might be used to in past years’ career modes?

The first thing players will notice is that they can race as themselves or select from the current F1 or F2 grid or one of the Icon drivers. This addition helps build on players’ fandom, and greatly impacts the way Career is played. Each driver has unique stats based on their Careers and they will be affected by their in-game performance. Each driver will also have a set of accolades attached to them.

Overall players will be able to experience different types of Careers, from building their reputation from scratch to continuing the legacy of legendary icons from the past.

With the real drivers now included, you’ll certainly notice the changes in our cut scenes where the drivers become the focus along with the significant improvement to the driver models.

Another major benefit of racing as one of the real drivers is that we’ve now included real driver audio which brings players closer to the real-world experience and adds further authenticity.

What can you tell us about Accolades? What will be the biggest motivators for players to chase after Accolades in career mode? Will that experience be significantly different for someone who’s playing as a custom character as opposed to a real-world driver?

Accolades are key points in their careers which the player aims to target. For Lewis, an accolade could be to win an 8th World Championship. For Nico Hulkenberg it could be take your first victory. Accolades give fun, short and long term goals, that engage players with significant Career milestones. By achieving them, players can directly impact performance stats. Of course, if you’re playing as yourself you’ll be building your own legacy and Accolades from the beginning of your career.

F1 24 is promising plenty of other notable changes in its career mode, chief among them being the new recognition system. What can you tell us about how this will impact the way players approach both short and long-term objectives? How will recognition tie into contract negotiations with different teams?

Recognition in the paddock will be key to successfully progressing your career. Your level of recognition will impact your strength within the team, and this will be important to ensure you direct the development of the car. If you’re less successful, your teammate could get the upper hand and drive the direction of the upgrades. You will also gain additional perks which will impact how effectively you progress your vehicle development.

Recognition is also going to play a significant role when you come to contract negotiations. F1 24 has an entirely new system where the player can enter secret meetings and risk their reputation with their current team. Players will also negotiate goals and targets throughout the course of the season to establish the best team and contract options at the end of the year.

Career in F1 24 has a new rivalry system where players can be part of regular, heated, or career defining rivalries with other drivers. You can have up to 3 key rivals at any one time; these being your teammate, your nearest championship rival and a driver who’s statistically similar to you.

Players will set goals and targets which will be delivered to them by a team of specialists who are there to support the player with long term season ambitions.

F1 24 also sees a new feature added to the on-track experience with engineer objectives. Engineer objectives will be short term on-track goals which will be set live during the race. The objectives are designed to motivate the player and to help them achieve an immediate in-race goal.

F1 24_04

"Recognition in the paddock will be key to successfully progressing your career. Your level of recognition will impact your strength within the team, and this will be important to ensure you direct the development of the car."

What can you tell us about Challenge Career seasons? Roughly how long will each season last, and how much variation can players expect moving from one season to the next?

Challenge Career enables players to race a predetermined episodic version of Career where their performance is rated and ranked amongst their peers across four difficulty settings. We’re looking at a season lasting around eight weeks, but we have the flexibility to adjust based on the story, and the player feedback we receive. Challenge Career is built upon the new Driver Career which gives us the opportunity to adjust the features in order to create a shared experience.

F1 24’s Dynamic Handling is being billed as one of its bigger core gameplay improvements. When it comes to the moment-to-moment driving experience, what are the areas where you’ve made the biggest tweaks to enable those improvements?

This year we set ourselves the goal to push multiple areas of the handling and on-track model to add depth and player agency to both the driving and the set-up of the car, and really push the authenticity of our aero, tyre, and power unit modelling.

We started by making changes to the fundamental properties of the chassis and replicating realistic weight distribution and underbody aero properties. We then built an entirely new suspension kinematics system which would allow us to recreate the unique set-ups run by each of the teams. We also revised our aerodynamics work using computational fluid dynamics and a virtual wind tunnel to learn more about the behaviour of air over the body of the car and how it’s distributed across the chassis. This also led to significant improvements in how aero is impacted by changes to the rake and ride height of the chassis as well as how impactful the Drag Reduction System (DRS) would be per team or track set-up. Finally we’ve redesigned a large portion of the Power Unit (more on this below).

The new EA Sports Handling System represents a significant shift in the racing experience, particularly for seasoned fans who prefer minimal or no assists while playing. Our goal with these changes is to recreate the authenticity of driving an F1 car in real life. We’ve received very positive feedback from those in the sport so we’re confident we’re on the right track.

The new power unit settings options are looking like an interesting tweak as well, with players now being afforded another degree of control over their car’s performance. What are the biggest differences these new options will make?

Opening up more settings in how effectively the engine can generate kinetic energy, whilst opening up all of the deployment modes to players across all sessions will lead to some incredibly tense and strategic racing, and allow the player to have a greater influence over the driving.

The power unit has been enhanced to include adjustable engine braking, thereby amplifying the effects of lift and coast on energy harvesting behavior. Greater accuracy in the energy harvesting and consumption of MGU-K and MGU-H and improved throttle mapping have also been introduced to help players reduce energy waste. Additionally, the Energy Recovery System (ERS) modes are now available to the player in all sessions, alongside a new differential model that gives players the opportunity to adapt to changing conditions.

F1 24_06

"The new EA Sports Handling System represents a significant shift in the racing experience, particularly for seasoned fans who prefer minimal or no assists while playing. Our goal with these changes is to recreate the authenticity of driving an F1 car in real life."

What can you tell us about the new Fanzone Championship? Is this something you expect is going to become a central part of F1 24’s multiplayer offerings?

Fanzone is a new feature within the returning F1 World mode. It gives players the opportunity to showcase their favourite driver and team to channel their fandom, have fun and work together with other players who support the same driver and team.

In this new feature players will join Fanzone rooms with other players and complete collaborative goals to unlock exclusive rewards and take their Zone to the top. All play within F1 World will contribute to their Fanzone and work towards taking a seasonal Championship.

As with everything new we introduce into the game, we hope our players enjoy it and find new ways to connect with the sport they love.


Amazing Articles You Might Want To Check Out!

Share Your Thoughts Below  (Always follow our comments policy!)



Keep On Reading!

Life by You Cancelled by Paradox Interactive

Life by You Cancelled by Paradox Interactive

An early access launch for Paradox Interactive's The Sims competitor was recently delayed indefinitely.

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle Clip Showcases Stealth Gameplay

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle Clip Showcases Stealth Gameplay

MachineGames' single-player first-person action-adventure game is due out for Xbox Series X/S and PC this year...

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – What’s New?

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – What’s New?

Shadow of the Erdtree may be more Elden Ring, but it's changing the base experience in ways players probably n...

5 First-Party PlayStation Sequels That Are Never Going to Happen

5 First-Party PlayStation Sequels That Are Never Going to Happen

No matter how bad we want these games, it's unlikely that we're ever going to get them.

Dark Souls 3 Is Still a Masterpiece in 2024

Dark Souls 3 Is Still a Masterpiece in 2024

The finale of FromSoft's Dark Souls series still holds up after all these years, but its mods elevate it to a ...

A Quiet Place: The Road Ahead Announced, Horror Adventure Game Launches This Year

A Quiet Place: The Road Ahead Announced, Horror Adventure Game Launches This Year

Published by Saber Interactive and developed by Stormind Games, the single-player title will release for PS5, ...