F1 phenom, Lando Norris, known as much for his sharp driving as his candid opinions, has thrown down the gauntlet on the newly released F1 23 game. A staple among the gaming community for his Twitch streams, Norris recently declared that while F1 23 is improving, it still lags behind bona fide simulators like iRacing and rFactor.
“F1 23 is getting better, but the games that are designed to be simulations like iRacing, rFactor, they’re way better than the F1 game,” Norris expressed to the media before the Canadian Grand Prix last weekend. Norris’s perspective emanates from an intimate understanding of both real-world racing and its digital recreations.
The McLaren driver’s verdict on the latest installment of the official Formula 1 game series came days after its release. “Even the new game, it’s nothing like real racing, it’s so far from it. The game is just so easy and nice, there are no bumps, or curbs you can just drive over,” said Norris, highlighting the significant gap between real-world driving and F1 23.
The driver has consistently challenged the boundaries between the sporting world and the digital realm. In 2020, Norris partook in the IndyCar’s iRacing-based online series, drawing a clear distinction between F1 23 and what he calls ‘actual simulation programs’. According to Norris, there’s a stark difference between the two. “One, it’s a game at the end of the day, it’s meant to just make you happy and you’re meant to enjoy it. It’s not often that you enjoy driving on the simulator because it’s a very different experience.”
F1 23, published by EA Sports through Codemasters, launched with much fanfare. Promising an enhanced handling system, a return of the fan-favorite story mode ‘Braking Point’, and the addition of the glitzy Las Vegas Strip Circuit, the game has been well-received by fans. Norris himself offered a sneak peek into the new Las Vegas circuit on his Twitch channel. “I’ve not driven the new one that much, I just did Vegas on it the other day, which was cool.”
Despite his critique, Norris did concede that the game is making strides. “It’s getting better, little bit by little bit,” he admitted, yet reiterated that for a bona fide simulation experience, gamers would be better served by platforms such as iRacing and rFactor.