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F1 2018 game: watch the Paul Ricard gameplay trailer

Published: 21 June 2018

► Out on 24 August 2018
► Classic cars return to F1 game
► French GP gameplay footage

Formula One returns to Paul Ricard for the first time since 1990, and to celebrate Codemasters has revealed a new trailer of F1 2018 featuring the French circuit. The trailer features gameplay from current drivers Pierre Gasly​, Romain Grosjean​, Esteban Ocon​ and Carlos Sainz​ – and reveals a small but noticeable improvement in graphics.

The most obvious thing to look out for is the sunlight reflecting from the tarmac. It’s certainly more lifelike this time round.

Classic cars return to racing game

The trailer also follows more information about two classic cars that’ll be included in this year’s game. The premium or ‘Headline’ edition of the game will include Jenson Button’s dominant, championship-winning 2009 BGP-001 Brawn – but also the Williams FW25.

For non-F1 fans, that’s the 2003 car that was driven by Ralf Schumacher and the legendary Juan Pablo Montoya. It was also powered by a fantastic-sounding BMW V10, so there’s that to look forward to.

For everything else you need to know about F1 2018, keep reading.

F1 2018 game: graphics

‘One of the biggest visual uplifts for F1 2018 are our revised lighting, sky, clouds and atmospherics systems. These systems work hand-in-hand and affect all aspects of the game rendering, making it more believable than ever before,’ said Stuart Campbell, the new art director on F1 2018. ‘Our new cloud tech more accurately represents the real world with improved cloud formations and response to light through the various weather scenarios that are a huge part of F1.’

‘Even on a clear day, the sky looks interesting with high-level cloud detail and jet trails, while the new atmospherics system gives a true sense of depth in the scene and connects the sky and terrain in a more cohesive manner, making for some stunning vistas.’

A revised ERS management system at play will also be included, meaning gamers can actually manage energy use and recovery during different parts of the lap. That means you’ll be able to do things such as Bottas’s last-gasp pass on Stroll in Baku last year.

F1 2018 game: release date and platforms

Codemasters has revealed that F1 2018, the new official game of the Formula One world championship, will be released on Friday 24 August – just in time for the Belgian round of the season at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Just like last time, it’ll be available on both the Xbox One and PS4 as well as for PCs via DVD and Steam, and Codemasters says it’ll be optimised for the 4K-capable Xbox One X and PS4 Pro consoles, too.

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F1 2018 game: gameplay features

Codemasters has been pretty tight-lipped about any other features, though we can expect F1 2018 to feature an even deeper career mode, and hopefully some more polished graphics that take advantage of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X's processing power. Of course, the contemporary cars in this year’s game will have the mandatory Halo device installed, so they'll divide opinion regardless. 

Expect multiplayer modes to be developed and expanded too, especially given Codemasters and the FIA’s new eSports-focused partnership. Much like Gran Turismo, a new emphasis on eSports could allow for more car personalisation, player ratings and competitive matchmaking. Hopefully the single player mode won’t suffer though.

Because this is the official game of the 2018 season, players will also be able to race on the reintroduced Paul Ricard circuit in France, and the German GP at the Hockenheimring too – which also returns after a one-year absence. 

And as for the new F1 2018 logo? We’d rather not comment...

F1 2018 game: what else to expect?

Jeal adds that once again Codemasters has listened to fans, and ‘career mode has been further expanded to immerse players even deeper into the world of F1 than before, with the return of a highly requested feature back into the franchise.’ We’re not sure what that feature is, although driver interviews appears to be a likely contender.

Apart from that, we don’t know much about the new F1 2018 game, but we’ll update this article when we know more.

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By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast