The latest edition of the Formula 1 game series, F1 23, has been confirmed for a June release - and EA Sports have finally added a feature fans have been asking for for years.
With the release of the 'Reveal Trailer' on Wednesday afternoon, EA Sports confirmed the addition of this year's new tracks in Qatar and Las Vegas - while also confirming that red flags will finally return to the F1 series for the first time since F1 2014.
There are a whole host of other features coming to the new F1 game, including the return of a game mode not seen since F1 2021, and the expansion of last year's contentious "F1 Life" game mode.
F1 23: Launch trailer confirms return of red flags
F1 23 will launch in June, moving the release date for the game even earlier than the July date chosen by EA after their takeover of Codemasters in recent years.
The reveal trailer revealed some of the gameplay features, including the first shots of the new Las Vegas circuit, and the expanded story mode career mode that makes its return with F1 23.
The Braking Point game mode which made its one and only appearance in the 2021 edition of the F1 series returns for F1 23, with the two characters from F1 2021 - Aiden Jackson and Devon Butler - also returning. There is the addition of a new element, however, with both a fictional team added to the F1 grid in the story mode (Konnersport Racing Team), as well as a new character.
EA's official release of the games says that Callie Mayer (sister to Devon) has become the first woman to ever win the F2 championship, and that she will vie with both Jackson and Butler for a seat on the Formula 1 grid, in a new element to Braking Point that is sure to entice racers back.
There was also confirmation that both of the new circuits on the 2023 calendar - the Las Vegas Street Circuit and the Losail International Circuit in Qatar - will be included in the game, as well as the tracks at Paul Ricard, Shanghai, and Portimao which will not feature on the 2023 calendar but have featured in previous games and seasons.
Upgrades to the handling and colour models are intended to make improvements to the user experience, but it is the community-requested feature additions which will be most exciting to F1 fans.
After nine years absent from the F1 games, red flags will finally return in F1 23, adding a new layer of authenticity to the race experience. Given the increased prevalence of red flags in the real-world racing series, this is a long overdue addition, and will be particularly welcome for those who enjoy racing distances longer than 25% race distance for the new strategic element they may introduce into races.
Speaking of which...EA have also confirmed the addition of a 35% race distance with the release of F1 23, as a middle ground for those who may want to race a longer distance than 25% while not wanting to go all the way to half- or full-race distance.
The contentious 'F1 Life' game mode has been dropped after just one year by EA Sports, with 'F1 World' replacing it for F1 23. The game mode will incorporate time trial, single race, and multiplayer game modes, to allow players to unlock new features as part of a rewards system.
Most welcome for regular online players will be the supposed improvement of the safety rating system which "encourages drivers to race cleanly and pairs like-minded drivers more efficiently for improved online racing."
F1 23 will release on PS5, Xbox Series, PS4, Xbox One, and PC on June 16, with the Champions Edition releasing on June 13.