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F1 2017 (PC) Review: The Perfect F1 Simulator



Published by: Codemasters
Developed by: Codemasters Birmingham
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Genre(s): Racing
Game Type: ,
85/ 100

User Rating
10 total ratings


Bottom Line

Codemasters have developed a perfect F1 – and racing in general – simulator in F1 2017.

Posted September 13, 2017 by



There isn’t much story to go around in a realistic racing simulator like F1 2017, unlike arcade racers like Need for Speed. If anything, Career Mode is the closest you could get to a story mode (there are even some cutscenes in it). In Career Mode, you create your own character, choose a team and then compete in the Formula 1 Grand Prix.


F1 2017 is packed with several modes to choose from. But if you want to start racing immediately using your favorite driver and team, you can just jump into the any mode other than Career. Of course, you still have the option to do practice and qualifying sessions on the track to determine your standing on the actual race, but it’s the fastest way to get on racing with your favorites.


The extensive Career Mode lets you create your own driver, and from there you can join a racing team of your choosing. Your goal is to be the best driver while representing your team. Along the way, you have the chance to have a rival, and beating your rival allows you to earn more resource points. However, there are several other things to worry about in this mode other than racing – most of them pertaining to the maintenance and upgrades of your car.


In your R&D department, you use the resource points you earn throughout your practice and qualifying sessions to unlock performance upgrades for your car over multiple seasons. You also have the chance to practice efficient driving techniques (e.g. tyre and fuel management, track acclimation) to have the best possible performance. Team strategies before each race should also be put into consideration to efficiently plan out pit stop times.

It is overwhelming to be honest, especially if this is your first time playing a racing simulator. And it probably can take a while to get used to it.


As mentioned earlier, if you want to skip the intricacies of Career mode, F1 2017 is packed with other modes where you can jump into a race as fast as possible. Championship mode lets you race in different disciplines and stipulations, using modern or classic F1 cars. In Grand Prix, you can play a full season of the 2017 Grand Prix races, play a classic Grand Prix season with old F1 cars, or even create your own races. Of course, there’s multiplayer online where you can play with other people.


On the general side of things, the driving mechanics feel very tight; you have to execute the right amount of pressure on the brakes at the right time, combined with releasing the gas and accelerating during a turn. A slight overturn or an excessive use of the brakes can cost you an entire race. Thus, practice sessions are extremely important to get a feel for the driving. It’s on the other side of the spectrum as compared to arcade racers. I’ve never driven an F1 car in real life (and never will), but I’d say this game as close to the real thing as far as the fundamentals go.

I played on a controller, but I’d bet a racing wheel would make for a much better experience.


Sports and racing games have come a long way since the days of polygonal models and cardboard crowds, and F1 2017 is no different. It’s amazing modern games have massively improved its graphics in such a short time. They’re undoubtedly outstanding, but they can’t quite grasp how to make it as “real” as possible. You know it’s still computer graphics deep down. In racing games, however, the cars actually look believably real.


The characters models are good enough, but it’s clear the developers focused on making the cars look their best. To put it simply, the rendering of drivers are comparable to the latest sports games in the market.


I played this game on a i5-6500 CPU, 16 GB RAM, RX 480 8 GB GPU rig and everything runs on a smooth 60 FPS on max settings at 1080p.


Codemasters have developed a perfect F1 – and racing in general – simulator in F1 2017. The attention to detail, refined mechanics and number of features feels like a love letter to the sport, and ultimately makes it a worthy buy, especially for F1 enthusiasts. At the same time, the driving mechanics and car management can be overwhelming to players just diving in to racing simulators. But that’s what makes it fun.

Drew Bagay

Drew is a lover of comic books, movies, and all things pop culture. He enjoys crime/thriller/noir fiction, playing the guitar, and taking long walks. He also doesn't like talking in third person.


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