The 2020 F1 Esports Pro Series is coming to a close, but something new for this season really caught our eye.
It wasn't any of the drivers nor the on-track action, but the length of races. This season’s competition was run with 35% distance races, an option that’s not available to players of F1 2020.
It doesn’t matter which game mode you’re on either, 25% or 50% are currently your current closest options.
We believe that Codemasters should roll out 35% races for F1 2021, and here are our reasons why.
Why 35% is a game-changer
It’s difficult to say for sure, but it’s pretty safe to assume that the majority of races in F1 2020 are carried out at either 25% or 50% distance of a full Grand Prix.
The most popular is probably 50%, as it allows for tyre strategy to come into play without the race dragging on too long.
Of course, you do get some people doing shorter five lap races and the hardcore players going the full race distance.
It isn’t a surprise that Codies have made 35% the new race length for the esports tournament. In F1 2020, all 25% races are an easy 1-stop, so there isn’t any strategic variation at that length. With so few laps it gives very little chance for tyre-difference to make an impact.
35% distance has led to some amazing strategic battles, with undercuts proving powerful in the short-term but the race is long enough to make it painful at the end.
We have seen some amazing alternate strategy masterstrokes from drivers like Jarno Opmeer too.
50% doesn’t work for everybody
25% doesn’t have the strategic variation that some players are looking for, so 50% is the current alternative for that.
50% races are usually around 45 minutes long and while that may not seem like a long time, there’s much more to a race weekend than the race itself.
If you compete in practice and qualifying as well, that’s usually around two hours total and could be up to two-and-a-half at circuits like Singapore.
Thankfully, mid-session saving has been in the F1 games for years now, so you don’t have to complete the race in one sitting.
It does ruin the immersion a bit when you have to do this though, it’s not like F1 drivers can pause the race, go to the shops, then pick up exactly where they left off.
But how long would a 35% race be exactly?
Full list of 35% races
If you’re wondering how many laps long the 35% races will be in F1 2020, we’ve calculated a list for this year's original 22-race calendar:
Albert Park, Melbourne
Circuit de Catalunya
Red Bull Ring
So, in general, races will be around 20 laps long at 35% distance. This is opposed to around 15 laps at 25% distance and 30 laps at 50% length.
Of course, each lap and race are different timewise, but 35% races will last around 30 minutes, depending on Safety Car periods.
It’s obvious that Codemasters can add this into F1 2020, as the esports racers are competing at this distance. There’s no real downside to this either, if people don’t like 35% races, they won’t play them, it’s as simple as that.
However, we think that it will be a big success and something really add something to F1 2021.
For more articles like this, take a look at our F1 page.