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F1 2021 coming in July, with co-op/competitive career mode

Three new tracks and all-new story mode — with sneering heel Devon Butler! — star in latest racing launch

Codemasters’ F1 2021 — the studio’s first game to be published under new owner Electronic Arts — launches July 16, Codemasters announced Thursday, bringing three more circuits, a new story mode, and several additional features to the Formula One-licensed racing sim.

The tracks — Portimão, Imola, and the all-new Jeddah Street Circuit — will be added to F1 2021 as free post-launch content, according to a news release from Codemasters and EA. All three courses are making their series debut, and for Imola, where the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix races this weekend, it’s the first appearance since Formula One 06 on PlayStation 2.

The new story mode is called “Braking Point,” and Codemasters said it “immerses players into the glamorous world of F1,” with off-track lifestyle elements and role-playing supporting the racing action. Additionally, the fictitious heel Devon Butler — a rival character from the first story mode in F1 2019 — will return to antagonize the player.

Significantly, the game’s staple career mode now supports two-player cooperative/competitive online play. Friends can now drive for the same team in a career mode, or battle one another driving for Alpine, Aston Martin, or the other eight racing teams in the game.

The career mode will also allow players to start a campaign from any point in the real-world season, with up-to-date driver and constructor standings (and ratings), should they wish to give Williams its first points since its 10th-place finish at Hockenheim in 2019.

Last but not least, the My Team team management and career mode introduced in F1 2020 will return. Further, seven all-time great drivers from F1 history will be available to race for created teams — should players pre-order the game or ante up for a premium Braking Point content pack, whose à-la-carte price was not mentioned.

F1 2021 will be the series’ debut on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, so players will notice visual improvements and faster loading times. The game supports cross-buy, meaning that players will get a free upgrade to the new console versions if they buy the game on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. F1 2021 will also launch on Windows PC.

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