F1 24 Creative Director Reveals 'Philosophy' Around Handling Model

The handling model comes under strong focus in F1 24.
EA Sports

Formula 1 is a sport defined by precision, speed, and the utmost control, qualities that fans and players expect to see mirrored in their favorite F1 video games. Recently, Lee Mather, the creative director of F1 24, shared insights into the philosophy that guides the handling model of their latest release, ensuring it satisfies both hardcore fans and newcomers to the series.

Mather explained how the game's development team aims to replicate the real-world physics of Formula 1 cars, but within limits that make the game approachable for players.

"So we have a philosophy around the handling model, which is 'the closer it is to reality in the majority of ways, within reason, makes it more approachable'. Because if you have an understanding of how a car is going to behave, that makes it easier to drive and more approachable and that's ultimately what Formula 1 drivers want."

One key aspect of enhancing the game's realism is integrating feedback from professional drivers such as Max Verstappen. This input is vital as it leads to a game that accurately simulates how a real F1 car responds to various inputs, mirroring the quick yet predictable behavior that the drivers expect from their machinery. Mather highlighted the importance of predictability in the game's design, noting, "They need to know exactly what that car is going to do to any given input.

"So we build a model, which reflects that as effectively as we can in the game. We also take on a lot of feedback from the drivers, the majority of which is incredibly relevant to making it not only more authentic but also a more approachable experience."

To cater to a wider audience, F1 24 includes various features to assist players of different skill levels just like the pervious versions of the racing game. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, steering assists, and automated systems such as the Energy Recovery System (ERS) and Drag Reduction System (DRS), are all on the menu and help mimic the dynamics of driving an actual Formula 1 car. Moreover, players can adjust these assistance levels based on their familiarity and comfort with racing mechanics.

"So we take a lot of feedback from the drivers and process it in a way that is relatable to the players. So for example, in recent years, something that we've heard from several of the drivers has been traction isn't good enough in-game and that a Formula 1 car's traction is way more impressive than anybody could possibly imagine out of a corner and that it's very rare they ever break traction out of a corner, unless it's a particularly slow corner.

"Or they're being overly aggressive or the tires are worn or cold. So traction is an area that we've really focused on, which kind of comes a lot from not only the changes we've made to the tire model, but also the suspension kinematics and the changes in weight, the center of mass location.

"So now the weight transfer to the rear. The fact that the suspension can cope with anti-dive and anti-squat, you know, it allows for the anti-squat, for the contact patch of the tire to be more effective. So all of those things, very, very real world, very simulation, but they actually feed into having a car that's more approachable."

The ultimate goal for F1 24 is to create a balanced, realistic driving experience that mimics the precision and predictability required by F1 drivers, while still being engaging and playable for gamers, irrespective of their racing experience. By doing so, the team hopes to not only honor the technicalities of the sport but also broaden its appeal and accessibility to everyone.

Read the full interview with Lee Mather here.

Alex Harrington


Alex is the editor-in-chief of F1 editorial. He fell in love with F1 at the young age of 7 after hearing the scream of naturally aspirated V10s echo through his grandparents' lounge. That year he watched as Michael Schumacher took home his fifth championship win with Ferrari, and has been unable to look away since.