EA Sports has announced that F1 23 is launching on all platforms on 16th June, bringing with it a handful of new features such as red flags and the return of F1 2021‘s Braking Point story mode.
However, the most exciting feature for me is the inclusion of legacy circuits that are not actually present on the official 2023 Formula 1 calendar, including Paul Ricard (France), Shanghai (China), and Portimão (Portugal) at launch.
With this door well and truly open, here are six tracks I’d love to drive in this year’s game.
MotoGP enthusiasts can ride this Italian circuit in its official tie-in video games, or even in Ride 4, but us fans of the four-wheelers never did get to drive in Tuscany in F1 2020, despite its shoehorned appearance in the Covid-impacted season. It’s not a classic circuit by any means, but what better chance to try out F1 23‘s newly-implemented red flags than simulating Valtteri Bottas’s unusually slow safety car restart.
India hosted a Grand Prix for just three years between 2011-2013 – before being cancelled due to a tax dispute between the FIA and the event organisers – with each one of those being won by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. It had some fairly unique corners which drew inspiration from some familiar tracks, and made for a satisfying track to drive in the games from a decade ago, and it’d be fun to see how this year’s ground effect cars hold up.
4. South Korea
The Korean Grand Prix appeared on the Formula One calendar for four years between 2010 – 2013, before being cancelled due to lack of interest. Still, it had an interesting layout with one of the longest straights of its time, and a flowing combination of corners which the drivers lapped praise upon.
The Malaysian circuit is a modern classic, and the fact that it’s been absent from the calendar for six years is an injustice. It begins with twisty section not dissimilar to China’s – which always threw me off in the older games – before unfolding into a true test of both car and driver ability with a glorious combination of high- and low-speed corners.
Another modern classic circuit that saved the day during Covid when other countries refused to open their borders, Turkey saw Lewis Hamilton win his record-equalling seventh world championship in 2020 and provided a fantastic arena for the ever-tense battle between Red Bull and Mercedes in 2021, before once again being snubbed from the calendar despite its iconic turn eight, which features three apexes and occupies twelve percent of the total lap time.
1. Germany (Nürburgring and Hockenheim)
Frankly, it’d be a crime if at least one of the two of the previously-alternating German Grands Prix didn’t make an appearance. Both Hockenheim and Nürburgring alike have provided some fantastic racing action over the years, including Sebastian Vettel’s championship-jeopardising shunt in 2018 and the disastrous 200th Grand Prix milestone for Mercedes on home soil.
Do you agree with these picks? Let me know if I’ve missed off your favourite track of years gone by, and then check out the F1 23 reveal trailer below.