Are you faster than a Flying Dutchman?
Electronic Arts has announced a host of upgrades for the F1 23 video game, and the coolest feature of all is the opportunity to race against Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on several Grand Prix circuits. The F2 2023 season has also been added to the game, while a sports livery upgrade package will bring the cars up to date with recent exterior changes to the cars.
"We have collaborated closely with the Formula 1 teams to introduce our enhanced sports livery update. Each team has made unique modifications to the cars, encompassing geometry, bodywork, and sponsors to ensure fans enjoy the most authentic F1 racing experience," said Lee Mather, Codemasters' Senior Creative Director. "Additionally, we are delighted to announce that players can now participate in the thrilling 14-round Formula 2 season, competing against prominent drivers such as Theo Pourchaire, Frederik Vesti, and Ayumu Iwasa."
F1 fans will also love the new Pro Challenge feature. In short, you'll be racing against an F1 driver on a specific track to win in-game features. The two previous installments of the series were racing against Charles Leclerc at Monza and Alex Albon in Singapore (Videos embedded at the bottom of this article for your viewing pleasure).
This time, players face the most formidable challenge yet, racing against the Flying Dutchman, who will soon be a three-time world champion.
Verstappen set a time of 1:28:177 at Suzuka, and if you beat that time, you'll earn the digital version of the helmet he wore at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix. EA also announced that more Pro Challenges are coming for the United States Grand Prix at COTA, the Mexican Grand Prix, and the Brazilian Grand Prix.
EA did not reveal who gamers will be racing, but it's easy enough to guess. Lando Norris is a well-known gamer, and he'll likely be up next.
We're 100% sure Checo will represent Mexico, and we're hoping honorary Brazilian and seven-time world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton will set the time at Interlagos.
The patch will also give players access to "Replay Events." This will let fans relive the upcoming Grands Prix by taking control of any of the drivers in the grid positions they qualified in. These replays will be available for this weekend's Qatar Grand Prix, the second US Grand Prix, and the Mexican Grand Prix.
For most of us, this is the closest we'll ever get to racing an F1 car. Yes, you can go out and buy a car with loads of Formula 1 technology, but an Aston Martin Valhalla is expected to cost $850,000, and you can buy an entry-level but decent F1 simulator cockpit on Amazon for $300. Add a PlayStation 5 and the actual game, and it's still less than $1,000.