With the continuation of the Braking Point storymode revealed with F1 23, what could this new chapter in Aiden Jackson and Devon Butler’s F1 journey have in store?
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Rewind back to F1 2019, and the F2 prologue at the start of the career mode introduced us to two original characters: the salt-of-the-earth teammate Lukas Weber and the dirty-driving antagonist Devon Butler. This only acted as a pre-cursor to a fully fledged storymode that would arrive in F1 2021, dubbed Braking Point.
The fresh-faced rookie Aiden Jackson and seasoned veteran Casper Akkerman had a tumultuous tenure as teammates, made worse by an interfering Butler. But, they both overcame their conflict to mount a comeback and help their team nab fourth in the constructors ahead of the team Butler drives for.
For F1 23, the next chapter of Braking Point will be written. Story details have been revealed, and already there are some decisions that have us intrigued. Whilst many F1 fans probably won’t touch the storymode upon release, we are very interested to see what Braking Point 2 has to offer.
So let’s begin hypothesising. What possibilities are there for F1 23‘s Braking Point?
Adding Depth to Butler
As has been revealed, this new chapter of Braking Point sees a brand new team join the F1 grid. Konnersport being fictional means there are plenty of opportunities to explore avenues that were limited in F1 2021. With the drivers occupying the cars of one of five pre-existing teams in the previous game, now they are able to create new original characters that make up the team personnel.
Another element of the new Konnersport team is the title sponsor, Butler Global. It doesn’t take much brain power to realise that’s intrinsically connected to Devon Butler. Perhaps his father is taking a Lawrence Stroll-style role with this new team, ensuring his son has got an F1 seat after the calamities at the end of F1 2021‘s Braking Point.
Butler is last seen slamming his wheel in frustration after a desperate lunge trying to pass Akkerman leaves him in the tyre barrier. Whilst Butler mortally wounded his car, Akkerman was able to carry on. Together with Jackson, their team garnered the points needed to overhaul Butler’s team for fourth in the standings.
With Codemasters referring to Butler as the protagonist this time round, could that open the door to add more depth to the character? It could begin with Butler venting his frustrations in the days after the race, learning he has lost his drive and has no options in Formula One.
Hypothetically, his father may then tell him that he need not worry, that he has bought into a new team entering Formula One. This could then be something Butler is conflicted about; he doesn’t want to be a pay driver but realises he has no choice if he wants to stay in F1.
Not to mention his father having high expectations and being perhaps harsh with his son, that could point to Devon’s behaviour being the result of a defence mechanism.
Butler has so far filled the pantomime villain role almost too well. But, could all of this be just a façade? A mask that Devon wears because he feels in his heart that he isn’t enough? For anyone who has seen the Rocky movies, Ivan Drago serves as the robotic and cartoonish antagonist from Rocky IV. Fast forward to Creed II, and he becomes a sympathetic character who was only a by-product of the environment he inhabited.
It would be very interesting to see Braking Point go down this route, doing a complete 180 and turning the villain into the hero. But does that mean turning the hero into the villain?
Forced to Settle
With the ending of F1 2021‘s Braking Point teasing a completely different fate for Aiden Jackson, he’s going to instead be lining up at Konnersport with Butler. A big shift, considering he was supposedly going to be signed by one of the three leading teams. We can only guess what happened, whether talks fell through or if he raced for them but severely underdelivered.
The former is perhaps most likely, so with Jackson banking completely on signing for whichever leading team he was talking to, being thrown that curveball will have felt like a real gutpunch. In the aftermath, the only offer left was perhaps that of the new Konnersport squad.
With that in mind, can Aiden drop the ego and make the best of what he’s got? Not to mention being able to work with Butler, who he still feels rightfully aggrieved with for messing with both himself and Akkerman. Speaking of whom, the now-retired Dutchman has taken up a role at Konnersport in a behind-the-scenes capacity, so maybe Cas can be Aiden’s voice of reason.
But, the character with the most potential is a driver who is a brand new addition to the series.
Fighting against Nepotism
One of the most interesting details shown in the F1 23 official reveal on 3 May was the introduction of a brand new character, Callie Mayer. She has made history by becoming the first woman ever to win the Formula 2 championship, and thus plenty of attention will be on her.
But like any woman in sport, there will be plenty of armchair critics not wasting a second to find any reason to downplay her achievements. One detail revealed about Mayer is that she’s actually Devon Butler’s sister! Considering her surname isn’t Butler, perhaps this indicates that she tried everything in her power to earn her spot on pure merit.
With her brother already having to make peace with the fact that he’s now essentially only in the sport because of their father’s influence, Callie is also somewhat reluctant. There’s a point in the trailer where Cas Akkerman is asking Mayer “Why are you hesitating?”, most likely as she has just been offered a place in the new Konnersport team.
Does she believe that if she takes it, she’s confirming to her critics that she couldn’t get into F1 on talent alone? This is a subject matter that many sportspeople have to wrestle with.
Plus, there’s the inescapable fact that three doesn’t go into two. Konnersport will be forced to pick between Jackson and the main sponsor’s son and daughter. Will they force Jackson out or will Butler drop his gargantuan ego for the sake of his sister? Clips from the trailer may have already confirmed this part but we can’t be sure.
Speaking of which, there are parts in the trailer showing the Konnersport team members and drivers being interviewed in a Drive To Survive-esque fashion. With how popular the Netflix series has become, it comes as no surprise that Codemasters are taking advantage of that to tell their own story.
F1 2021‘s Braking Point was a solid foundation to build upon, but we will have to wait until June to see if they’ve fulfilled the potential. Will it be another linear progression or will there be alternative scenarios depending on different outcomes?
Most importantly though, with Jackson, Butler, Mayer and the rest of the Konnersport team, have the writing team at Codemasters delivered a story that does these characters justice? Will they be interesting characters with an arc worth following? Find out when F1 23 releases 16 June (13 June for Champions Edition owners).
What do you think will happen in F1 23 Braking Point? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!