With the return of Kimi Raikkonen this year the Formula One grid has no less than six world champions on the grid, which might be more than ever. The amount of talent has made for some extremely entertaining situations so far this season. This rare situation has not been lost on Codemasters, the team behind the official F1 games. On the eve of Gamescom in Germany the Codemasters team has announced that the F1 2012 game will include “Champions Mode”. What is Champions Mode you ask? Well allow me to explain.
Champions mode is a series of challenges that puts players against one of the six champions currently on the grid. For example there is one scenario in which the player assumes the identity of Kimi Raikkonen’s teammate at Spa. The player has just pitted while the rest of the grid is on worn tires but there is only 3 laps left to go in the race. The player is challenged to try and overtake Kimi before the race is over. Sounds like a tough situation does it not? I wonder what the challenge against Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher will be like?!
As an added bouus Codemasters has also kicked down a few new screen shots (from the new Circuit Of The Americas). Codemasters also released the official box art featuring Mark Webber, Paul Di Resta, and Timo Glock. This marks the first time that Codemasters has featured actual cars/drivers on the cover since they got the F1 license (hopefully it wont result in a curse). Finally, we also got a trailer of the new Champions mode and all the formentioned goodies are viewable below.
Los Angeles, Calif. – August 6, 2012 – Codemasters today announced a brand new game mode for F1 2012. “Champions Mode” will enable players to take on each of the six FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONS competing in the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™ in individual race scenarios designed for quick play and instant action. A gameplay video, featuring Champions Mode, is now available to view at: www.youtube.com/formula1game.
F1 2012’s Champions Mode will challenge players to take on each of the six champions in turn, starting with Kimi Räikkönen, followed by Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and then Michael Schumacher. Each champion has his own race scenario where the player must beat that driver in order to unlock the next challenge.
The Kimi Räikkönen challenge sees the player join a race as Kimi’s teammate at Spa Francorchamps. The player has just pitted and is on new tires while the rest of the pack is on worn rubber with three laps to go until the end of the race. In order to complete the scenario the player has to race through the pack and overtake Kimi before the end of the race.
Champions Mode will be playable for the first time at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany from August 15to 19 in the NamcoBandai booth in Hall 9, Booth C11.
F1 2012 will launch September 18. 2012 in North America for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION ®3 computer entertainment system and PC. F1 2012 will feature all of the official teams, drivers and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the debut of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Austin, Texas and the return of Germany’s famous Hockenheim circuit to the calendar.
Over the weekend Formula One returned to Spain for the second time this year on the streets of Valencia and the talk of the weekend remained the phenomenon of seven different winners in seven races. With Sebastien Vettel throwing down a blistering fast lap during Qualifying and taking the pole position most were starting to think the 2011 champion would end the streak. When the race started Vettel had an excellent start and returned to old form as he shot out and built a hefty lead over Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean. It was starting to look like Vettel was going to indeed become the first two time winner of the year until his car mysteriously shut-off on lap 34 of 57 in a rare mechanical failure which ended his day.
Vettel’s mechanical issues allowed hometown hero Fernando Alonso to take the lead in front of an absolutely roaring crowd, but he faced serious pressure from the Frenchman Romain Grosjean. Grosjean was hard charging and chasing Fernando down until his car also shut-off on lap 41 which took an immense amount of pressure off the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Over the radio the Lotus team informed Romain that the alternator failed which caused an electrical failure, thus shutting down the motor. Since Lotus runs a similar Renault engine set up as Red Bull, it was speculated that the alternator was possibly the culprit in Vettel’s shut-down as well. With Romain out, points leader Lewis Hamilton took over second place but had a four second gap to Alonso. While Lewis was figuring out how he would close on Fernando, his rear view mirrors were full of the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen who was smelling blood, or more likely the quickly degrading tires of both Hamilton and Alonso.
As the race closed in on the last 10 laps Lewis was stil working on closing that 4 second cap on Alosno but Kimi began to ease off of Hamilton, perhaps he was worried about pushing too hard and having the same alternator failure as his teammate. As the race got down to the last 6 laps McLaren was hoping that Fernando’s tires would begin to fail, which would allow Hamilton to steal the win in the end. However with Lewis suffering his own tire troubles Kimi Raikkonen took Hamilton down and grabbed second place on lap 55 of 57. Lewis then almost lost third place to Pastor Maldonado right after falling to Raikkonen but Lewis held him off for a few turns until Pastor got a little too aggressive and punted Lewis Into the wall with only two laps remaining. The hit took the front wing off Maldonado which put him out as well allowing Michael Schumacher to take over third place and Mark Webber moving up to fourth.
At that point it was all she wrote as Fernando Alonso finally won in Valencia becoming the first two-time winner of 2012, followed by Kimi Raikkonen taking second place, and the great one Michael Schumacher grabbing third.
Fernando’s win shoots him up to first place in the points, with Mark Webber moving up to second past Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel. Now the F1 grid gets about a month break as next on the schedule is the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim starting July 20th.