"Everything you hear during the race is from the race engineer rather than from a commentary stance," Gray notes. "He'll be feeding you information about tyres, brakes and about your engine," with strategic updates and advice piped through your helmet over the course of a race.

In fact, over the course of a season, the race engineer will arguably be the most crucial point of contact, and someone to whom you'll need to pay close attention. With eight engines to last you an entire season, keeping an eye on your driving style will be key.

"If you're absolutely nailing your engine, it's going to wear out and start to become a bit sluggish, so you'll be getting loads of advice," says Gray. Likewise, if you're too hard on the brakes, or wearing out your tyres too quickly, you're going to get the hairdryer treatment.

Another element that will play a significant role in the game's career mode is R&D. Just like in real life, you only get to call the shots on the team's direction if you're performing better than your team-mate and picking up more points.

"Once you're in control of your team, you're able to influence the direction the R&D takes," we're told, and you'll be able to pick the individual areas that get the most attention from an R&D perspective, such are aerodynamics or downforce.

Mmm, full wets.

You'll also be able to stop developing your current season's car and start work early on getting the next season's model up to speed.

"If you're a low to middling team, you can choose to do that and maybe get an extra performance boost in the next season. It is completely possible over a series of seasons to take, say, Lotus over five or six years to a championship battling team."

The blessed media will also be playing a key part in the whole F1 'experience', with opportunistic types shoving microphones under your nose, as well as more formal press conferences alongside your bitter rival/beloved team-mate. You can, of course, slag off your contemporaries and generally make a nuisance of yourself, but whether it'll be wise to do so or not remains to be seen.

Just as crucial to the nuances of handling, car setup, dynamic weather and playing nicely with the media scrum will be the player AI and driving personalties - something Codemasters reckons will be very apparent in F1 2010.

Hope it rains in Montreal.

"We're aiming to have the AI so it's reflective of the driver in real life, so you will have Button, who's very smooth, and Hamilton, who's quite aggressive, Vettel, who's genuinely very smooth, but perhaps not an aggressive overtaker, and hangs back a little bit more," says Gray.

"It's about having those different driver personalities in the AI, so if you see in your mirrors that Lewis Hamilton is behind you, you know he might try something that you might not expect, whereas other drivers [might] just wait for their little opportunity when you make a mistake."

But the real question, of course, is who's going to be crowned World Champion this year. "That's a bloody good question! I think it's going to be between Hamilton and Vettel. I think Alonso's struggling just to get their Ferrari working for him at the minute. Button's got that knack of just ticking away, without necessarily doing anything spectacular, he just keeps picking up points, but I'd like to see Hamilton win again."

F1 2010 will be released on the 24th September 2010 on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 and will be published by Codemasters.

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Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed


Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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