F1 24 review: career highlight

Career mode overhaul is the crown jewel of this year’s entry

F1 24
(Image: © Electronic Arts)

TechRadar Verdict

F1 24’s fantastic Career mode overhaul is the evolution the series’ single-player content needed. New elements like playable real-world drivers, secret team meetings, and on-track objectives all add much-needed depth. Unfortunately, some rather pedestrian AI and minimal updates elsewhere make F1 24 a routine upgrade overall.


  • +

    Career mode changes and additions are excellent

  • +

    Great handling improvements, especially in wet weather

  • +

    Challenge Career is a brilliant new mode


  • -

    AI drivers can be too clinical and predictable

  • -

    Updates beyond Career mode are slim

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Review info

Platform reviewed: PC
Available on:
 PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
Release date: May 31, 2024

Codemasters is back with the latest annual entry in its EA Sports Formula 1 racing game series. For F1 24, the developer has elected to focus its efforts on a much-needed Career mode overhaul, which is good news for players who enjoy the series’ offline offerings, and I’m happy to report that Codemasters has seriously improved this aspect of the game.

F1 24’s Career mode is a massive step up over the last few years, introducing or refining several elements for a much richer experience overall. Simply being able to (finally) play as a real-world F1 or F2 driver is huge, allowing players to don the lid of their favorite driver and take their future career in any number of directions. On top of that, additions like secret meetings between yourself and other teams, on-track objectives, strict team expectations, and an improved rivalry system all bolster a highly replayable single-player mode.

Some slick track updates, in terms of both aesthetics and accuracy, are welcome, and the return of the Chinese Grand Prix reintroduces a fantastic race track to the game. Furthermore, the addition of the new Challenge Career mode adds moreish, bite-sized seasons on a rotating basis. 

However, beyond these changes and updates, F1 24 remains largely identical to the last few entries in most other areas. F1 World (outside of the new Fanzone feature), My Team, and other single-player offerings remain largely unchanged. Elsewhere, driver AI seems to have taken a bit of a step back, feeling a little too clinical and, well, boring, during race events. F1 24 is still an entry that’s well worth playing, especially if you’ve been pining for a better Career mode, but don’t expect much else new beyond that. 

Raring to go

EA Sports F1 24

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

So, F1 24’s big draw is its overhauled Career mode – and what an upgrade this is over previous years. Simply put, Driver Career now feels like the fully fleshed-out mode it always should have been. This is helped in no small part by the ability to play as your favorite real-world driver and the team they occupy for the 2024 season.

You’ll start a Driver Career by signing a new contract with your team. At this first step you’ll set targets for yourself, including the Driver Rating you’re aiming for by season’s end. There’s a welcome bit of risk versus reward here; higher ratings will naturally be harder to obtain but will make you a more enticing prospect for other teams in future seasons. On that note, I recommend picking a backmarker driver like Zhou Guanyu or Alex Albon, as I felt that working your way up from the back of the pack provided the most rewarding and challenging career experience.

The added features of this year’s Career mode do a great job of making you feel less like you’re going through the motions. You can still influence your team’s research and development by spending resource points accumulated over a race weekend, but there’s now a huge focus on developing your driver, too.

Best bit

EA Sports F1 24

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

F1 24's overhauled Career mode is a very welcome update. Rivalries, on-track objectives and secret meetings between teams lend an element of unpredictability. Meanwhile, updates to car handling make for thrilling and accurate racing in all weather conditions.

One avenue where this comes into play is the expanded rivalry system. For one, your teammate is now treated as a rival from the start, and you’ll be expected to outperform them each race weekend. And as the season progresses, you’ll also develop rivalries with other drivers and even constructors. I feel this does a great job of cementing a season-long narrative for your driver. And at higher difficulty settings it can be tense to butt heads with your rivals, especially when crucial points are on the line.

Another fantastic addition is on-track objectives. During a race, your team can issue you an objective to meet in order to to further boost your driver rating, and these are impressively dynamic. Examples include overtaking another driver within a number of laps, beating a set lap time, or using a certain amount of fuel. On-track objectives are a fantastic way to help races feel more exciting, and they’re not too intrusive, happening only once or twice in any given race.

One of my favorite additions to Career mode has to be secret meetings. As the name implies – and much like in real-world F1 – these will see you attempt to go under your team’s radar to engage in talks with another constructor who may be interested in signing you on for a future season. This can be a gamble, though, as there’s a chance your team can learn of the meeting, thus knocking you down a peg in their estimation.

Overall, Driver Career is superb in F1 24, and is the clear highlight of the package. However, some more antiquated features do remain. Namely, that ‘1-100’ difficulty slider is still here, making it incredibly tough to find your sweet spot. I’d hoped that Codemasters would introduce a more detailed and nuanced difficulty breakdown to give players a better idea of what they’re getting themselves into. 

Back on track

F1 24

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Naturally, the quality of the career mode experience would be for naught if the racing wasn’t any good. But once again, Codemasters has further refined its handling model in F1 24. This year, particular effort has gone into an improved tire model, allowing cars to more realistically react to various surfaces.

On-track racing already felt great in previous entries, and that remains the case here. However, I did notice some serious improvements to wet-weather racing, where car handling is significantly more slippery. Wet-weather conditions now make for seriously edge-of-your-seat racing, and I found myself begging for rain every race weekend due to the sheer amount of fun each shower provides.

Over on the circuit front, a handful of tracks have been updated to better represent their real-world counterparts. For example, Spa-Francorchamps’ iconic Eau Rouge/Raidillon section now bears its striking red and yellow stripes along the run-off area. Meanwhile, Silverstone, Qatar, and Jeddah have all seen updates to aesthetics and layout. On top of all this, the return of the Chinese Grand Prix to the F1 calendar means the track returns in-game, and it’s a brilliant drive.

Yet while the racing is as good – if not better than – it’s ever been, a handful of issues are present. I feel there’s been a step back when it comes to driver AI. It’s not bad; in fact, it’s perhaps a little too clinical for its own good. I played Career mode at a difficulty of 80 out of 100, which is a considerably challenging setting.

F1 24

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

What I found at this level was that AI drivers largely prefer to race as cleanly and safely as possible, sticking almost magnetically to racing lines and rarely going for risky overtakes. For tracks with few opportunities to overtake, like Monaco or Imola, this makes sense. However, the AI applied this safe behavior at high-speed tracks too, including Baku, Monza, and Jeddah. What's more, AI drivers are still extremely slow to launch off the grid, making it incredibly easy to gain tons of positions before turn one.

Perhaps most concerning of all is that I didn’t experience a single racing incident, red flag, or safety car within the entire first half of my debut season, nor were there any retirements, be they from accidents or mechanical failures. This is a step back from F1 23, where I felt the number of racing incidents was proportionate to real-world racing. It can lead to races against AI drivers feeling quite sterile, and I hope this is something Codemasters can look into with future patches and updates.

Another feature debuting in F1 24 is driver voices. That means, just like F1 Manager, you’ll hear your driver talk over the radio, with authentic voice lines pulled from real-world team radio. It’s a nice addition, but feels underbaked in its first rendition. You’ll only ever hear your driver talk at the checkered flag or after a crash, and they won’t respond to team radio updates during a session – these interactions are featured in F1 Manager 23, and I’d love for Codemasters to expand on this feature going forward.

If F1 24 is to be your first foray into Codemasters’ long-running racing-sim series, then I can highly recommend it. The fantastic Career mode updates alone, along with F1 World and Challenge Career modes, mean there’s plenty on offer, both offline and online. 


If you played last year’s entry, then F1 24’s impressive array of accessibility features will be familiar to you. Gameplay assists like rewinds and anti-lock brakes still exist, as well as numerous colorblind options for the racing line (protanopia, deuteranopia and tritanopia are available), and a tinnitus relief filter to aid players with more sensitive hearing. 

Should I play F1 24?

Play it if...

You love a good Career mode
F1 24’s overhauled Driver career is fantastic, with loads of new features and improvements to help your seasons feel both unique and highly involved. 

You want a racer with an incredible sense of speed
Codemasters continues to be excellent at accurately delivering the feeling of blasting down a straight at over 200mph – and overtaking your rivals with the assistance of DRS is as exhilarating as ever.

Don't play it if...

You were hoping for a more substantial, far-reaching upgrade
Outside of Driver Career and improvements to car handling, F1 24 remains broadly similar to previous entries. This is understandable given the annual release schedule, but if you were looking for big updates to F1 World and online modes, you may be disappointed here. 

How we tested F1 24

I played F1 24 on PC, via Steam, for just over 25 hours. This was enough to complete two Driver Career seasons at small-to-medium race length, experiencing improvements to the Career mode like on-track objectives, secret meetings, and seasonal driver moves. I also played a good chunk of the moreish F1 World mode, which provides a wide range of bite-sized race challenges. Unfortunately, I was not able to test the game’s online features prior to launch.

In terms of hardware, I played F1 24 with an Xbox Wireless Controller on a 1080p Asus monitor. I found that my setup, featuring an Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti, was more than enough to run the game at a stable 60fps at maximum settings without ray tracing. I also played the game with the JBL Quantum 910P gaming headset; its support for spatial audio really helped those engine roars feel especially punchy. 

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.