grand theft auto v Formula 1 Open Wheel Racing

You can find Formula 1 cars in all kinds of racing games. From Project CARS to iRacing to the official F1 games, they are a staple of the motorsport sub-genre. However, you probably wouldn’t expect to find them roaming the streets of Los Santos. Thanks to a new Grand Theft Auto V update, Open Wheel Racing is here.

The latest addition to the 1.49 Diamond Casino Heist update has added two Formula 1 cars to Grand Theft Auto V. Firstly, the Ocelet R88, costing $3.1 million, is based on the Lotus 97T, one of Lotus’s many F1 cars that legendary racer Aryton Senna drove in 1985. Otherwise, you can also buy the Progen PR4 for $3.5 million, a slightly more modern F1 car based on the McLaren MP4/6.

Grand Theft Auto V: Open Wheel Racing

It’s all well and good racing F1 cars on the streets, but it’s the track they were born for. The new Open Wheel Racing mode lets you take these marvels of engineering and race them against each other. In total there are seven Grand Prix circuits all providing their own unique challenges. No doubt players will use the track editor to recreate real F1 calendar circuits in due time.

Surprisingly, there’s a fair amount of strategy involved compared to your ordinary GTA online race. For one, there’s both tire management and pit stops. You can choose among soft, medium, and hard compound tires depending on the length of the race. Regular lobbies are only five laps, but you can set up custom races that force players to think wisely about what compound to use.

Much like their real-life counterparts, GTAV‘s F1 cars have a tendency to get airborne. If you drive over a ramp or hill flat out, expect to lose control. Equally, taking damage in the Open Wheel Racing mode can be devastating. Unlike regular cars, the R88 and PR4 lose the majority of their grip when damaged. This is especially the case if you lose either your front or rear wing.

Finally, if you want to win consistently, then making the most out of KERS is a must. KERS, or kinetic energy recovery system, stores the energy from heavy braking and then transfers it to speed up your exit out of a corner. It’s a great way of accelerating faster out of tricky hairpins and technical chicanes. To Rockstar’s credit, implementing this level of strategy into the Open Wheel Racing game mode is impressive. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, Grand Theft Auto V is available on Steam for $39.99. You may be better off waiting for a sale though, as GTAV gets price cuts very regularly.

Kurt Perry
Kurt is a passionate games critic who has a particular love for JRPGs, racing games, and platformers. Once a dedicated console gamer, Kurt moved across to PC three years ago and hasn't looked back since.

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