Codemasters has lifted the lid on its next Formula 1 game, F1 2010, at a press event in London, revealing an extensive career mode that will simulate the drivers' life in the paddock as well as on the track.
F1 2010 will allow players to interact with their agent, team-mate, engineer and the media as they build a career for themselves. You'll start in a lower or middle-tier team aiming to beat your team-mate and championship rivals, in order to increase your standing and negotiate new contracts over several seasons.
As your rank improves, the F1 circus in the paddock will respond differently to you, with media showing interest according to your standing and asking questions relevant to your performance. Finish in the top three in a race and you'll be able to join in the post-race press conference for TV.
The game also features an upgrade system that improves and changes your car according to the performance of you and your team-mate and the amount of testing you do, while doing well in a season will feed into off-season research and development. You can get closely involved in the setup of your car or give broader instructions to your engineer for how you want it to drive.
On track, Codemasters is aiming for handling that's authentic without being too difficult for average players, and predictable enough that players can focus on putting in the consistent lap times that are all-important in Formula 1. It's putting an equal emphasis on credible and dynamic AI opponents as it is the handling model, however.
Keeping race strategy in mind will be important, especially managing tyres, which will blister, marble and puncture. Players will also be able to adjust wing angles angles and engine performance on the fly.
There will be dynamic weather conditions and the track surface will evolve from session to session and lap to lap, as drivers lay down rubber to increase grip, leave dangerous tyre "marbles", and actively dry wet tracks with their tyres.
We'll have a full feature preview with hands-on impressions for you in the coming days. F1 2010 is due for release on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 in September.