Formula 1 doesn’t add new tracks to the calendar often, so when they do, its big news. As a racer and a fan of the sport, I love to jump in the racing simulator ahead of an F1 round and set my best time, then compare it to how fast the real drivers achieve. This week was a different experience as the track isn’t in F1 2015 and we’re still waiting for F1 2016 to be released.
F1 2016 has a release date of the 19 August 2016, confirmed at the end of the video below, its a little later than last year’s July 10th release and 2014’s April 11th date, still it’s good to finally know how long the wait is for fans of the franchise.
While you can’t race the Baku street circuit in Azerbaijan, you can watch Red Bull driver and Aussie Daniel Ricciardo race the circuit in the upcoming racer from Codemasters.
The brand new track is a fantastic blend of high speed sections and tight corners with no margin for error, a recipe for disaster, also known as a great experience for fans. While the new car models look great, its the recreation of the largely unseen Baku environment that is the stand out for me.
As Ricciardo commentates his way around the lap, you get to see the stunning architecture blessed with sun flares, shadows and get a real sense of the new lighting model.
Probably biggest compliment to the developers comes when Ricciardo, someone who’s spent thousands of hours in million dollar simulators, says
Graphics are good.. Graphics are that good I could probably plan what shops I want to go to after the race.. it’s nice.
This is one game that can’t arrive soon enough for racing fans. This section is my favourite, so tight, turns 8,9,10 combine for a chicane that’s uphill and Riccardo comments that inevitably, someone will get it wrong through the weekend and put it into the wall. This is where F1 drivers make their money, they’ll need to back out of any potential passes and file through here in single file.
Now turn the sound up, sit back, relax and enjoy a lap around the newest track in the top tier of motorsport. Also this video at the time of posting had less than 1,000 views, so its brand new, make sure you share this post with your motorsport and gaming friends.
Bonus video for those fans of Renault and Jolyon Palmer, he also had early access to play himself in F1 2016 and commentate the lap for us. It really is great to compare the feedback and opinions from both drivers, lets hope we get more videos from Codemasters soon.
Both drivers cut their laps in a Playseat, using a Thrustmaster wheel and pedal setup. Of course Ricciardo had the optional Red Bull branded version. If you want the same setup at home, you can’t, the Playseat Redbull Racing F1 is currently sold out. You can however grab the Thrustmaster TX + Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On.
While its not clear how many laps each driver had of the circuit, it’s clear they’re pretty decent right out of the gate. Its clear there was certainly an element of not punching a wall while the camera’s recording, but it is enjoyable to listen carefully for the rewarding, metalic downshifts as they approach the high-intensity braking zones.