Hardcore sim racers typically fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to Assetto Corsa’s “purity” as a racing sim, but there are some things that the PC and console sim do extremely well. And some of these strengths translate very well to bringing Formula One action to sim rigs.
One example of this is Assetto Corsa’s KERS, DRS and MGU functionality. Many sims now allow DRS systems (Automobilista, rFactor 2, RaceRoom and even recently GT Sport allow open wheelers to “flip the wang” and get more straight line speed. However, finding a sim that allows programming of MGU units and KERS deployment is rare. But as rare as that functionality is in sim racing, it’s undoubtedly a key function of this generation’s F1 cars.
Assetto Corsa allows you to map buttons to MGU-H deployment, MGU-K recovery, MGU-K deployment, and of course, DRS. That high level functionality puts Assetto Corsa ahead of many of its rivals for those that want to tweak their F1 engine to the Nth degree.
There are, of course, other sims that offer excellent open wheel formula car experiences for sim racers. rFactor 2’s FSR 2019 from the Formula Sim Racing team is an incredible experience. As is the Formula Ultimate 2018 for Automobilista (this can be skinned with new liveries to look more like the 2019 field of F1 cars). But without a doubt AC stands out for some valid reasons.
I recently did a video about two great options for running 2019 F1 cars in AC, and it’s my most popular video ever in terms of first week views. So the interest in a great F1 experience is definitely there. The two videos I featured were the F1 Mania 2019, known in some circles as the ACF1, and the 2019 ACFL cars. Both of which are great options, one is free, the other is paid.
F1 Mania is the free option, and at the time of this writing they had only created 5 of the 10 F1 teams. Given that they aren’t charging money for the F1 mod, it’s a tremendous option. Some of the visual details are aren’t as rich as the paid option, but who cares?
ACFL is a somewhat controversial modding team. They create great work, but the source of some of their design code is a hotly debated topic in sim racing. The accusations were flying publicly in 2017, but to my knowledge the issue has been resolved for the 2018 and 2019 editions. And there’s no question that the whole package comes together nicely with the ACFL effort. I had a blast taking the car around Spa in the video below.
Here is the video:
I also recently did a video about the universally praised Formula Hybrid 2019 from Race Sim Studio. I would categorize this as one of the best F1 cars in sim racing, and certainly the best current year sim racing car.
Here is a mini review and my first time driving it:
So what about F1 2019 from Codemasters? We’ll have to wait and see, as the title won’t release until June. I maintain that it’s a mistake on Codemasters’ part to release the title halfway through the real world season, as they have in previous years, but they seem to be continuing that trend. And with that trend will probably come some compromises that distance it from hardcore sim titles, but for a game that caters primarily to console players, the compromises are understandable. Their attention to onboard electronic systems is excellent as well.
Overall, Assetto Corsa remains a very accurate option for driving F1 cars in the sim world, and there are now three excellent options for cars. Happy racing!