F1 24 Preview: First Impressions, Handling & New Game Modes


The wait for Formula One fans is almost over, as F1 24 is going to release next week. We got to try a preview version - here's what we observed.

A new year means a new F1 season – and that means a new F1 game. F1 24 is lining up on the grid for its May 31 release, with those who preordered the title already getting access on May 28. Publisher EA Sports and developer Codemasters have promised a number of improvements and new features compared to F1 23, including an updated tire model, suspension systems, and different ways to play the popular Career modes.

In addition, the aerodynamics of the highly complex Grand Prix cars have also been subject to changes, with each car supposedly featuring a different aerodynamic model – which makes sense, considering the different designs of F1 cars.

EA Sports F1 24 Preview McLaren Miami Grand Prix

Image: EA Sports

F1 24 Preview: Handling​

The aero improvements combined with the changes to suspension and tire models can make for quite different experiences when hitting the track, depending on the car. For instance, the Red Bull RB20 seems to be slightly more nervous when accelerating, particularly out of slow corners, than the Ferrari SF-24. The Italian car, on the other hand, requires a bit more care on the brake pedal in order not to lock up.

Downforce and its absence are noticeable, with the cars being able to make turns at ludicrous speeds, but once you head into a slow corner, that grip vanishes. This makes for a quite tricky experience, especially against the AI, who seem to have more grip than the player car under acceleration out of the slow-speed turns.

In general, the handling feels a bit more refined than in previous games, and without any assists enabled, it is challenging, but rewarding to try and master. You will encounter some quite sudden slides under power, but those can often be caught – perhaps the handling is a bit too forgiving in that sense, seeing how F1 cars are quite heavy these days, but quick hands will do you some good in trying to keep going straight.

F1 24 Physics.jpg

The suspension model has been reworked for F1 24, alongside the tire model.

The same holds true for smooth pedal inputs. F1 cars do not have ABS or Traction Control, so without assists for those, they can be quite difficult to tame. Remember, you have a 1000 hp, 798 kg single seater at your disposal – they may look easy to drive when in the hands of real Formula One drivers, but they certainly are not. And when a high-downforce car with slicks loses grip, you do not have much time to react.

The braking in F1 24 struck us as a particularly nice improvement. Modulating the brakes and avoiding lock-ups works well. If one of your front tires goes for a smoke ahead of a turn, you usually know immediately how you messed up the braking – a good way to try a different approach in the following lap.

F1 24 Preview: Career Mode​

F1 24's career mode has been given some extra meat. If you are new to it, you might be overwhelmed by all the different features, currencies, values, systems and experience bars. Do not let that put you off though, most of it works in the background and meshes well together.

For years, fans have wanted to be able to race as one of the official F1, F2 or Junior drivers, which is finally possible in F1 24. You can also still create your own driver, even though we have been wondering for years when a cool character editor would finally arrive.

It is also possible to join the F1 circus with one of the icons included in the game. For some, it might feel out of place to start a season as Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher or Mika Häkkinen, but it is completely optional - and a nice option to have for those that might want it.

Meanwhile, keen observers will have noticed that the driver rating is much more prominent than in previous years. In F1 24, the driver you control also has these ratings, much like in "traditional" sports games like FIFA (now EA Sports FC) or the NHL series. These ratings also change based on your performance on the track, making the grid a dynamic environment as you progress through your season. And it has an immersive, role-playing feel to it, too - although some may be put off by ratings playing a part in how your own driver races, not their own skill behind the wheel.

EA Sports F1 24 Preview Teammate Recognition

We'll leave it up to you to judge if the the distribution of recognition at Red Bull accurately reflects reality.

The rating is also tied to the team-internal driver recognition, which shows the impact you have on your team's development, giving you advantages for R&D parts, bonuses for weekly resources or vice versa if you are the number two driver. These ratings change based on results, so you can lose your status (or improve it) by having a long streak mid-season. The rivalry system is also improved in this sense.

The new specialists, who work as external consultants and come to the races from time to time, give you additional goals and bonuses to complete and earn, so the Research & Development system becomes a bit more dynamic and deeper, especially since your teammate is now busy with development as well. There are many small, clever changes, new cutscenes and additions that simply make the career feel more intense. As the season progresses, elements such as driver changes, secret contract meetings and more surprises will be added.

F1 24 Challenge Career Mode​

One of the new ways to take all of these improvements and new features into action is the Challenge Career. This mode allows players to compete with others, but not in a direct fashion – instead, they are presented with certain career scenarios to conquer. Any goals they fulfill net them points, with the different difficulty settings acting as point multipliers – the more difficult your setting, the more points you get.

These scenarios are divided into chapters. In the preview version, we started out as Max Verstappen ahead of the Japanese and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix. The “normal” Career Mode elements are available in Challenge Career as well, so it feels like you are properly put into Verstappen's ongoing season.

EA Sports F1 24 Preview Challenge Career Max Verstappen


By completing the chapters of a Challenge Career Mode scenario, you earn points, and these are used to rank you on a leaderboard. Anyone who plays these scenarios enters the leaderboards, giving players a new way to compete with each other, even while not actually racing each other. It is rather about who can master certain career scenarios the best – a mode with quite some potential, we feel.

Not everyone has the time to race online, or they might not want to due to the countless stories of open lobby carnage. This way, they can still compete in a race setting (unlike in Time Trial) and see how they rank among other F1 24 players.

Meanwhile, if you want to do a Career Mode deep dive with a friend, two-player Co-op Career is back in F1 24 as well - and we are tempted to give it a go once the game is out.

F1 24 Preview: Enough Changes For A New Title?​

Considering how racing game fans and sim racers all want something different out of their experiences, it is hard to judge whether or not the the aforementioned innovations justify a full price of $70 or more for the console or Champion Editions - also considering the fact that there were no driver changes for the teams in 2024.

In the end, players have to decide for themselves. In any case, our first impression is that you can definitely have a good time with F1 24. It may not necessarily appeal to the hardcore sim racers out there, but it does not have to. After all, we should not forget that F1 games are probably the most important gateway to our hobby other than the likes of Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport, and the reason for many out there to buy their first steering wheel.

EA Sports F1 24 Preview Updated Spa-Francorchamps

Spa-Francorchamps has finally been updated for F1 24, reflecting the changes of recent years. Image_ EA Sports

We will follow up with more gameplay and a comparison of the updated tracks tomorrow, and soon with an in-depth review of the release version of F1 24, including VR hands-on, controller impressions, more details on how it feels with a wheel, and more.

F1 24 will race to PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on May 31. Those who preordered the game can start racing on May 28 already.

What are your impressions of F1 24 shortly before its release? Are you looking forward to giving it a go? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

Nice video, enjoyed watching that.

After playing the 22 version on Gamepass, i will be buying this years version. I have had a lot of fun with the 22 version, so looking forward to this one as it seems its much improved.

Its a nice complete package that will do me well for my Sunday mornings moving forward.

Really looking forward to the regulation changes as per Stefano Domenicali's comments, these current hybrid F1s are truly awful and they need to be binned ASAP. Bringing back V10's or (even better) V12's will be absolutely golden! The sound of those engines were one of the reason i watched F1, they are spine tingling!
 
Premium
Not purchased since 21 edition so will update this year, just not certain I want to pay full price for it as have little faith the title will release, without needing 1 or more patches. I detest that with how games are these days and I am still trying to get over Forza.

Like some others, who may have put a lot of money into hardware and may also be casual gamers, rather than dedicated online players. In my case recently, having upgraded the past year, with over 3K on a PC and 2K on a monitor, its always nice to have new titles and experiences to try and hopefully enjoy and I am talking not just the game itself but that hardware too.
 
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This new F1 24 is the most arcade of all... a lot of grip... very strange feeling of the steering... very sharp and unreal angles... I do not recommend its purchase. It looks like the F1 2011 control.
 
I'm very wary when reviewers say that there has been a small update or iteration of the physics and then go onto to list things that really could be just good old placebo 101. When the time comes and I play an F1 licensed game and it plays like AC or RF2 then I'll part ways with cash but I stopped having faith in this title back in 2018/19 kinda era. It's a shame because it's actually a fun title (with the weekend layout and objectives, double player championships to play with friends)... It's just it's a fun title with simcade physics and weirdly vague canned FFB.
 
The career sounds exactly the same as the current career mode. But they’ve now renamed existing features, very EA. Am I missing something?
 
still the best and highest players number on steam, F1 licence is very well made. More exciting than the 7 tracks in LMU.
 
This new F1 24 is the most arcade of all... a lot of grip... very strange feeling of the steering... very sharp and unreal angles... I do not recommend its purchase. It looks like the F1 2011 control.
Seeing as that's the general consensus currently going around the internet, combined with no driver changes between '23 and '24 and apparently still bugged VR, other than maybe wanting the newer car liveries it seems there's literally no point or benefit in getting '24.

This past year has seen no significant changes between last and current IRL seasons so all they had to do was reinforce, refine and polish '23 into what could've been a very worthy title, but instead it sounds like they've completely blown that massive opportunity by bizarrely choosing to break fundamental elements of vehicle controls, handling and flattening racetrack elements (kerbs). It's like they just casually tinkered with it, screwed it up, then said f it - hype it up with a series of pre-release PR videos and not lift social media embargos until just a week prior to launch and nobody will notice.

I thought '23 was a decent step forward in terms of handling / FFB from '22 (albeit still too simplistic and "not there yet") so I'd hoped that '24 was going to take another step that would've made it approach sim territory, and I was even prepared to pay full price day 1 had that been the case. Now it seems best to boycott '24 to let the devs know that this is not the direction that I think most of us want to see the franchise go in, and hope that message sinks in over the next 12 months.

Maybe the inevitable day 1 patch might fix the game a little. Maybe it'll be the day 100 patch that'll do that. Maybe they'll just not bother and let it burn. Either way, it'll be interesting to see how this fares over time in the Steam player-count charts as the F1 games are clearly normally very popular, and I'm curious to see if the masses will also find it disappointing and essentially irrelevant.
 
Yeah of course, a bunch of negative comments to a game just because ItS NoT ReAlIsTic AgAiN. Meanwhile, F1 series still crushes every single game so called "Simulators" on steam just because the majority of real gamers play to have fun, not to simulate anything.

Like it or not, F1 delivers a really portion of fun to who really like racing games.
 
Yeah of course, a bunch of negative comments to a game just because ItS NoT ReAlIsTic AgAiN. Meanwhile, F1 series still crushes every single game so called "Simulators" on steam just because the majority of real gamers play to have fun, not to simulate anything.

Like it or not, F1 delivers a really portion of fun to who really like racing games.
A lot of people do not understand just having fun anymore. Especially those who say "I rather play AC", not realizing that many play the F1 games because unlike AC, F1 actually provides a truly GREAT single player experience.
 
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