F1 2021 on Wednesday Codemasters’ motorsport simulation added the second of three free race tracks after the start. Imola – official name Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari – is now available in all game modes.
On April 18, Imola hosted the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, round two of this year’s Formula 1 World Championship. It and Portugal’s Portimão Circuit were last minute additions to F1’s COVID-altered schedules for 2020 and 2021, forcing Codemasters to make an effort to build them up and include them in the game, along with Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Street Circuit, which will be added to the game in November.
Rendering an F1 course with the details racing fans expect in a video game is only part of the effort. Codemasters developers also need to train their AI drivers to find the optimal line through the track and then deal with traffic, overtaking and other racing events during the event.
Here’s a look at Imola aboard Pierre Gasly’s Scuderia AlphaTauri AT02:
Also with the involvement of Portimão and Imola, F1 2021The in-game calendar is still out of date with all of the races that have run in real life. Istanbul Park, which hosted the Turkey Grand Prix last weekend, is not in the game and Codemasters has not announced any plans to add it at a later date. It was also a late addition to the 2020 and 2021 racing plans as the COVID-19 pandemic missed several dates in both years. The Losail International Circuit in Qatar is also scheduled for the Qatar Grand Prix on November 21; neither will it come F1 2021.
Neither Qatar nor Turkey have a contract for the 2022 F1 season, so Codemasters is unlikely to be in a hurry to build them. The calendar for next year will include another new event and track, the recently confirmed Miami Grand Prix. But given the backlog of natural labor and the fact that it took Codemasters two years to build Jeddah, the Miami Autodrome’s gig is in F1 2022 is not guaranteed. Codemasters will also deal with completely new vehicle specifications and rules in the next year, which touch on pretty much everything in a physics and handling package that has been iterated since 2014.
All of this said F1 2021Shanghai, Montreal, Singapore, Japan, and Australia courses are still in the game (and available in career modes and online racing leagues) even though their races have been canceled in real life.
Wednesday’s patch also includes a special, time-limited paint job for Red Bull Racing: It’s the retro design that Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez underwent in Istanbul last weekend. Red Bull originally planned to use the livery at the Japanese Grand Prix to celebrate engine supplier Honda’s final season in Formula 1. It is based on the Honda RA 272 that American Richie Ginther drove in the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix, Honda’s first F1 victory. The livery will be in the game until November 15th.