F1 2021 will launch a premium Digital Deluxe edition that lets players choose from seven all-time greats as their racing team’s second driver in the My Team, single-player career mode. But because it isn’t a pay-to-win scheme, it means players still have to work to acquire the drivers after paying the $74.99 for the game.
Players must still build up a racing team capable of paying the drivers, or meeting their requirements for prestige and winning chances. If My Team’s second year is balanced like it’s first, you probably won’t be able to “afford” these drivers until the latter stages of your first season, at the earliest.
Felipe Massa, rated 86, has the lowest salary of the seven, coming in at $4 million. For comparison’s sake, the most expensive drivers you could choose from in starting your team in F1 2020 were a slew of Formula 2 up-and-comers asking $1.5 million each. As your team progresses in the multi-season mode, you may lure away any driver from their current team. But in addition to the salary, there’s also a cash buyout — Lewis Hamilton costs $19.5 million to buy out in year one, for example. And you’re balancing that against the ongoing development of the car.
While it was a little too easy to rack up points early in F1 2020’s My Team, even if you’re racing at the upper end of the difficulty, there was no real way to spend to win. Racing teams must manage sponsorship contracts, which do pay bonuses, but then there’s the matter of the engine you buy for the car — and Ferrari’s power plant costs as much as Massa’s salary.
The other drivers are: Michael Shumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost (these three all had deluxe-edition cameos over the past two years), Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, and David Coulthard, ranging from Schumacher’s 94 rating and $13 million salary, to Coulthard’s 87 and $4 million. There’s no buyout price mentioned because, well, you’re hiring these drivers as free agents. But one wonders if this means other, AI teams will be able to acquire them.
So these seven retired drivers are more for their superfans, who, at some point, might enjoy putting Button or Rosberg in their second seat. The Digital Deluxe edition also comes with some customization items (liveries, fire suits, helmets) and some items related to the narrative mode, “Braking Point,” which we’ll hear more about later. It also gives players 18,000 PitCoin, and that’s the currency that folks use to pay for the season pass and tiered rewards that F1 2020 introduced.
F1 2021 launches July 16 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. It will be the first game published by Codemasters since Electronic Arts acquired the studio and publisher at the beginning of 2021.