Gran Turismo 6 has the Red Bull X1, and now Assetto Corsa has the Ferrari F1 Concept. A third party add-on by Virtua Simulazioni has given us a glimpse of the not so distant future, bringing a futuristic Ferrari-inspired Open Wheel car to the popular PC racing sim. Featuring over 1000 HP, eight gears, and an adjustable turbo setting, the car is a radical departure from the authentic recreations of open wheel cars VS have previously released.
Unlike the Red Bull X1, however, you can actually drive this thing, making it well worth the download.
Usually I’m not a big fan of Futuristic cars, as mod teams will exaggerate downforce, horsepower, and tire values to produce something that would be more at home in F-Zero GX, but Virtua Simulazioni have churned out something that’s grounded in reality. An unholy three-way marriage between Juan Pablo Montoya’s record-breaking 2004 Williams F1 ride, the turbocharged Verizon IndyCars seen on the streets of North America, and modern Le Mans Prototypes which generate massive amounts of downforce, driving the F1 concept at a competitive pace isn’t a completely foreign affair.
It’s fast, but it’s not too fast. The insane amount boost the car generates on corner exit can light up the rear tires, but delicate throttle management isn’t an obligation you’re reminded of multiple instances each lap. Whereas the Red Bull X1 was more of a boss battle unto itself than a realistic vision of the future, the F1 concept is a tangible taste of a victorious Grand Prix car from 2027.
The standard cockpit layout most hardcore sim racers have grown accustomed to has been re-imagined, without re-inventing the wheel. Like your 2015 Formula One entry, the heads up display is located entirely on the steering wheel. However, shift lights now surround the driver, and a virtual rear view mirror has been installed into the dash. It’s indeed futuristic, but surprisingly, it’s also functional, and dare I say it, practical.
Cockpit visibility is fantastic, with the nose of the car dropping away in a similar fashion to the CART monstrosities of the early 1990’s. Sight lines allow the driver to see much more than they ever have previously in a modern Formula One car, a much-welcomed design change given the speeds have increased tremendously. Eclipsing 320 km/h with ease at tracks such as Mugello and Spa, it’s nice to see where you’re going.
Aesthetically, the car is appealing at some angles, and at other times it looks like Dallara had their filthy hands on it. Both the default Ferrari-themed skins, as well as the additional skin pack featuring non-Ferrari liveries, do a great job of distracting people from some of the not-so-flattering angles.
It’s a quality release, and even if these cars usually aren’t your thing, I encourage everybody with Assetto Corsa to give it a shot.