Codemasters' the F1 racing franchise missed the mark last year by strangely having few game modes and wonky multiplayer. In response, as stated in at a private meeting I had with the developer behind closed doors, Codemasters hopes to rebuild its reputation as a premier developer of racing games by reworking F1 2016, mainly by enhancing the realism of the game and bringing back several features back to the table.
First and foremost, Career Mode will be returning to the fold, this time giving players the ability to create an avatar from a selection of prefixed faces and race ten seasons against the virtual counterparts of the racers from this season of Formula One. You can choose to start with one of the top teams, like Mercedes AMG Petronas, but you'll be expected to place high right out of the gate. But if you choose a lower-tier underdog team, like the new Haas F1 Team representing the United States, you can claw your way to the top with your team expecting you to win in several seasons.
In between races in Career Mode, you'll return to a paddock, a contemporary space where you can meet up with your Agent, see the Head Engineer for car upgrades, and select the next race of course. Your Agent will start off rather stern with your chosen character at first, but she'll be ecstatic if you impress her with your placements. That said, she might have to give you some bad news if you don't meet the team's standards and you might find yourself looking for another team.
You'll also need to participate in various tests that will get you acclimated to the next track by setting a hot lap and managing tires and fuel. These tests award you with resource points that you can spend on car upgrades, so you'll want to complete them before heading to the next race.
On account of realism, F1 2016 will introduce or re-introduce a plethora of options and additions: Safety Cars, Virtual Safety Cars, formation laps, the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan, wheel tethers that will keep wheels on your racecar during crashes, and added properties for tire walls and surfaces.
Out of curiosity, I asked the developers on hand about whether female F1 drivers would be included as avatars. Considering that the game is focused on realism—today, there are no female F1 drivers represented in Formula One—some might look at this as a strange question, though there have been some in the sport's post. And of course avatar creation is fictional, and both men and women might want to play as a female driver anyway.
Codemasters actually began work on having female avatars in the game, but there just wasn't enough time to incorporate them. The developer may do so later down the line through a patch; even if that doesn't happen, they hope to be "ahead of the curve," so to speak, on this front.
F1 2016 will release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 19.