Car Wot Goes Free: F1 Online Beta

$2.99 to unlock Herbie

Is Formula 1 still popular, then? I thought it would have gone out of fashion now it’s been followed up with Formula 2 and Formula 3. But then people still play Battlefield 1942 even though Battlefield 3’s out. You hopeless nostalgics!

The sport of driving long, fast cars around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around remains well-liked enough to keep spawning videogames, the most recent of which is Codemaster’s F1 Online. It’s free to play, it’s, uh, online, and it now has a closed beta and the first trailer for you to videowatch.

You can throw your helmet in the ring for that here. Being closed, you’re not guaranteed a slot, but an open beta will follow. Here’s a trailer from last month, which suggests this browser-based affair is a wee bit different from the traditional, more sim-like F1 games. Looks like Micro Machines meets Foot-to-ball Manager to me.

Via VG247.


  1. lordcooper says:

    Bursting toast!

  2. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Seriously, watching racing is so boring. Boooooring. I wonder what people get out of it. Perhaps if there’s a race in which the winner isn’t clear or if you’re rooting for someone or some team you may enjoy watching it.

    • aldo_14 says:

      Thank you, captain objective!

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Watching? Eh.
      Playing? Actually kind of enjoyable.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      I dare you to watch this race footage and say it’s boring: link to

      Le Mans might have been overshadowed by F1 in recent times, but 24 Hours of Le Mans (especially the dirty driving GT classes) is still my favorite. In fact, F1 cars will never reach the kind of iconic status Le Mans has resulted in. Where’s the F1 counterpart to the drama around Porsche 917K, Ford GT40 and McLaren F1 GTR ’95?

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

    • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

      Any sport is “boring” if you don’t know enough about it to get why the competitors are doing exactly what they’re doing. If you don’t know why fielder A is stood in position B when bowler of type C is bowling to batter of type D, then cricket’s just a bunch of people hitting a ball with a bat. If you don’t know why that defender is standing in that position behind the opposing team’s striker, then football’s just people chasing a leather ball up and down a pitch.

      In motorsports, it’s a less obvious process – the level of technical knowledge required to know exactly what’s involved in the sport is greater, so working out what’s going on – and why a challenge beyond ‘driving around in circles’ exists there – is more difficult.

      But, yes, if you know about it then there’s a lot more going on there. It’s a bit like a non-gamer watching somebody play Counter Strike and saying “You just run around shooting people” when you aren’t aware of how tactics work across a map, or how the interplay of the player and their team-mates work. It’s only when you know the ins and outs of something competitive that you appreciate the competition.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Ah. I was hoping to get a few responses from those who -are- into racing. Thanks!

    • pmanpman says:

      I would have sworn that ALMS battle went the other way

    • MiniMatt says:

      Try bike racing, the lead (and every other position) can (and regularly does) change place several times in a single lap, rather than the procession which F1 is often accused of. The skill is also more evident in that more of the physics is plainly visible, one can see the forks coming dangerously close to bottoming out, we can see the front tyre struggling for purchase under hard braking way too late into a corner, we can see the back squirming and the frame flexing on exit and the rider trying to balance weight and throttle – with cars, whilst the same physics and skill is in place so much of it is hidden to the viewer and it can become just a box with wheels going round a corner.

      That said, as noted above, knowing what is going on and why will add to enjoyment. And people enjoy what people enjoy – some folks get their kicks stamp collecting.

    • The Tupper says:

      I’m rather surprised that Formula 1 isn’t embraced by the PC gaming community more wholeheartedly, as the two pastimes share significant similarities:

      Both require large initial investment utilising the latest in technology, subsequently adopted for more mundane purposes. And when something crashes it’s often spectacular, requiring the input of many specialists to get going again.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      @Tupper: Fantastic analogy!

      Oh, and here’s a tribute to the glory of the past – Group B racing:

    • grundus says:

      Yeah, it kind of goes without saying that you need to sort of be interested in the sport to see why it’s appealing. I don’t like football, I don’t care about it, and therefore it’s a bunch of men kicking a ball at nets, but to my brother it’s actually important that Player A is wearing a different shirt to the one he was wearing the last time the two teams were kicking a ball at each others’ nets.

      F1 is often dull to watch, and I say that as a fan, but every now and then it’s incredible. Rarely, mind you, but every now and then… My interest in cars helps, though, because that helps me understand why it’s boring, and then the stuff they’re trying to do to make it less boring makes it more exciting, if you get what I mean.

      Still, I wish they’d go back to the old days. 500Kg, 500bhp, no computers, little downforce… F1 cars used to be able to drift, I never got to see that on TV. Thing is, F1 is about being the most technologically sophisticated racing in the world. Maybe what they need is to relax the regulations to allow more innovation, I mean there is still room for some, but nothing groundbreaking. Still, that would just mean the richest team would run away with the title. I don’t know, F1 was great, is still good now but used to be better, kind of like rally racing and just about anything to do with cars, actually.

    • Burning Man says:

      I have absolutely no idea what the rules of football are, other than understanding that men get shirtless and hysterical when balls go into nets. I do love watching the sport though, because so much of it is like dancing. Feinting, dribbling, even a spot of excellent passing looks absolutely fantastic. I can understand why they call it the beautiful game.

      However, I never follow it actively, have no preferences about which shirts and what colours those men should wear and have no idea why Messi was benched for the whole World Cup.

    • Turbobutts says:

      Apparently, my good sir, your experience with watching automotive racing is restricted to Formula 1 races and NASCAR cliches which indeed are terribly boring. However I suggest you to look up on old Group B and BTCC (pre-2000) footage, and, if possible, follow the 24h of Nürburg race this year (highlights will do just fine, nobody asks you to stay with it for the entire duration).

  3. Jova says:

    I’ve registered for beta. The combo of micro-machines and Foot-to-ball management is one I hold dear.

    I’ve missed a good F1 manager game since Grand Prix Manager 2 in the 90´s.

    For those ignorant to what GPM2 was, here: link to

  4. Moni says:

    Does it go without saying that I will be designing a magenta penis car and driver livery?

  5. somini says:

    link to

    Hilarious restrictions there.
    I managed to grab the screen name Captain Slow…
    No Top Gear fans in this game?

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      For your kind information, it’s Mister Captain Slow, thank you.

    • SteroidGontarski says:

      Last time I named myself Captainslow in a racing game, people kept ramming their cars into my cars back.

  6. YeOldeSnake says:

    Have you by any chance read “The Wabbajack” book from skyrim?

  7. RyuRanX says:

    So this is a business manager game and not a top-down racing game? Now I’m interested on it.

  8. SquareWheel says:

    “But then people still play Battlefield 1942 even though Battlefield 3′s out. You hopeless nostalgics!”

    Why would I play 3 when 1942 is such a larger number?

  9. pmanpman says:

    I’m in for this, I’ve played racing management games for years, I’m just hoping this tops BATracer

  10. Snuffy the Evil says:

    Should be interesting. I’m not the racing type, but I was enamored with some NASCAR sim when I was younger, and around and around and around and around is more interesting than left and left and left and left.

  11. pingu666 says:

    fyi formula 2 and 3 do exist, as junior formula to f1, and there fairly dull cars

    alms/le mans, nascar typicaly have far more interesting racing

    • grundus says:

      To be fair, you either have racing like Group B rally or classic F1 where the teams are allowed to do radical stuff with their cars, or racing like WRC or F3000 where the rules are quite tight and the racing is all down to the drivers, if you see what I mean. I really want to see what would happen if the current F1 grid were given, say, identically set up F3000s or even Ariel Atoms or Caterhams, I reckon Webber and Button would be the front runners. Then again you’d still have the problem where the identical setup would suit some drivers better than others.

  12. Figday says:

    I noticed the crazy amount of ‘around’s first before the title and i thought it’s about a Nascar game.
    Anyways, I like sports, but I never like sports games, including racing ones. Good news for the fans of the genre then.

  13. thecjm says:

    It’s been such a long time since anyone made an F1 management game for the PC. The fact that you can modify the colour scheme of your car immediately puts it a step about EA’s F1 Manager, which came out in 2000 and is the last retail F1 management sim I know of. I’m really looking forward to this. And if it stinks, I can just go back to Grand Prix Story