Codemasters has revealed that the next game in the official F1 series, F1 22, will launch on July 1, with three days early access starting June 28 for the deluxe Champions Edition.
Despite the subtle rebranding which sees the century dropped from the title, F1 22 will pick up where F1 2021 left off. That means the return of features like My Team, introduced in F1 2020, which sees some changes this time round.
Most importantly though, F1 22 fills the same brief as its predecessors in providing a recreation of the 2022 Formula One World Championship and that’s more of a challenge as the sport’s rules have seen a significant change.
The 2022 cars are radically different, as a new suite of technical regulations is now in effect. Along with being larger and heavier than before, the cars now run with much bigger wheels and lower profile tires, which has major consequences for vehicle suspension.
In addition, the cars have very different aerodynamic profiles, designed to allow them to follow one another more easily without being affected by the chaotic wake caused by the massive wings.
This has seen the reintroduction of “ground effect” aerodynamics. In essence the cars suck themselves to the ground by channeling air beneath them and sealing it in, meaning the upper surfaces — wings, fins, and slots — don’t need to be as complicated to generate the same downforce.
That’s all required Codemasters to make some physics changes for F1 22 in order to replicate the new handling and aero characteristics of the cars.
The more firm 2022 calendar means that, for the first time since F1 2019, F1 22 is set to feature every track across the entire season. That will include Sprint Races and the first ever Miami Grand Prix on May 8, at the International Autodrome — around the Miami Dolphins’ home Hard Rock Stadium. Real-life changes to circuits in Abu Dhabi, Australia, and Spain will also be included.
A new “Adaptive AI” function will allow players to race against a grid of 19 other F1 cars at an approrpiate skill level, while new race day features include “Immersive” and “Broadcast” options which change the experience and affect crucial moments like safety car periods and pit stops.
My Team returns with a new feature to allow you to set your starting budget. Newcomer, Challenge, and Front Runner will see you choose how you start, for different experiences. The regular ten-year Career Mode is also returning.
A new game mode called “F1 Life” will be introduced with F1 22. Codemasters describes this as a customizable hub which players can use to “to show off their collection of supercars, clothing, and accessories”, earned in gameplay, via an in-game “brand store”, and as part of Podium Pass.
We’re not quite sure what “supercars” means in this context, but the game’s official website notes that players will be able to drive supercars “from some of the sport’s biggest names” in a new “Pirelli Hot Lpas feature”. Hopefully all will become clear in the coming months.
F1 22 will officially launch on July 1 on PC, PlayStation 4/5, and Xbox One/Series. A special Champions Edition is also available which features a time-limited, “Miami-inspired” content pack — available only on pre-orders before May 16 — and three days early access. Both are available to pre-order now.