F1 2001/2002 Differences Guide by Wolf Feather

Version: Final | Updated: 09/21/02 | Printable Version

Jamie Stafford/Wolf Feather

Initial Version Completed: August 4, 2002
FINAL VERSION Completed:   September 21, 2002


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First, I must state that this guide is inspired by a similar
effort by Jeremy Watson in his NCAA Football 2003 for PS2
Difference FAQ, available at GameFAQs
(http://www.GameFAQs.com).  While I generally do not play
games outside the auto racing genre, when I saws Jeremy's
guide on the What's New list for August 4, 2002, the title
caught my attention; reading through the guide revealed A LOT
of useful information, all presented concisely.  Such a guide
is definitely useful for players of NCAA Football 2002 to
determine if they want to upgrade to NCAA Football 2003, and
I immediately found myself wondering why I had never before
thought of writing a similar guide for EA Sports' F1 series,
since I have already written a multitude of guides for these

This is my opportunity to 'rectify' this oversight.


In F1 2001, all cars handled and performed in identical
fashion; winning every race in a Championship season with a
'lesser' car (such as from the Arrows or Jaguar teams) was
definitely possible, even on the most difficult settings
possible.  Cars handle and perform differently in F1 2002.
This is heard in engine sounds, and definitely seen in top-
end speed.  F1 2002 also has a set of challenges that players
must complete; the challenges for the 'lesser' teams (such as
Arrows and Jaguar) are far easier than those for the
'greater' teams (such as McLaren and Ferrari).  Most
interestingly, the AI is different for each team; teams
traditionally running at the back of the field will easily
pull aside if the player is in a position to lap them, while
'greater' teams' cars are far more difficult to pass and also
far less willing to be passed.

The new Gamebreakers is interesting, but can be rather nerve-
wracking.  With Gamebreakers activated, exciting events
during a race (i.e., massive wrecks) will instantly be
replayed with a variety of camera views and in slower and
slower speeds, effectively interrupting the race and possibly
causing the player to lose all sense of rhythm and
concentration.  Also, as the player nears the Start/Finish
Line on the final lap, all other sounds fade away and the
colors shift, again to indicate an adrenaline rush; for those
who drive largely by ear (especially those using manual
transmissions who need to hear the engine to determine when
to shift gears), this can be extremely annoying and perhaps
even dangerous.

In addition to updated teams and drivers (including the new
Toyota team), F1 2002 has generally had its graphics enhanced
for better colors and better reflections; similarly, the
spectators seem more enhanced and more animated, including
more flag-waving and bullhorn-blowing.  Those playing with TV
Panels activated will receive better television-style
information at the bottom of the screen, including far fewer
instances of 'blank' times separating drivers at a particular
timing point.

Circuit names have 'changed' from F1 2001 to F1 2002.  For
example, F1 2001's Spa-Francorchamps is now simply Spa in F1
2002.  This also occurs with other circuits with long names.


EA Sports Cards is the main addition to EA Sports' F1 series.
Each of the eleven teams has six EA Sports Cards, which are
collected/earned by completing certain tasks during Races,
Team Duels, and Basic and Advanced Challenges.  Not
surprisingly, the tasks for the 'lesser' teams are easier
than those for the 'greater' teams; for example, Toyota's
Racing card is earned simply by gaining a place, whereas
Ferrari's Racing card states the player must 'Lead race from
start to finish' (which means that at NO time can another car
get ahead by even a single pixel).  Each team has six EA
Sports Cards which can be acquired: Duration, Racing,
Milestone, Team Duel, Basic Challenge, and Advanced
Challenge.  Collecting all EA Sports Cards at the Gold Medal
level for a single team results in receiving enhanced cars
for that team.

One of the most interesting additions is the
slipstream/drafting indicator, located on the right side of
the screen.  When the player is in a position to catch an
aerodynamic tow from another car, the slipstream/drafting
indicator lights up in gradually-darkening colors from yellow
to dark orange.  The darker the color (and the higher the
lines are on the indicator), the more speed has been gained
by using the slipstream/draft.  Suddenly pulling out of the
slipstream/draft slingshots the player's car forward
appropriately, accompanied by a lessening of all sounds other
than the howling wind to simulate an adrenaline rush.  This
in itself is a rather unique and addictive aspect to F1 2002.


Without question, FIA Rules is the main continuing flaw in EA
Sports' F1 series.  This is still significant enough that it
is virtually impossible to play with FIA Rules activated :-(
The main areas of concern here are the speed limit and the
issue of Passing Under Yellow.  Fortunately, the game has
been updated so that the flags waved by the corner workers
are much easier to see; also, when applicable, the
appropriate flag icon is shown at the top of the screen.
However, once the Yellow Flag is displayed, players are NOT
given enough time to slow to 130MPH or less, which results in
a Stop-Go Penalty.  Similarly, should a Yellow Flag suddenly
be displayed while the player is racing side-by-side with
someone else and the player's car overtakes the other by a
single pixel, the player is slapped with a Stop-Go Penalty
for Passing Under Yellow.

A major complaint about F1 2001 - with its introduction of
very detailed car set-ups - was that these set-ups could not
be saved (like in Gran Turismo 3, which allows car set-ups to
be saved to files separate from the main game progress file)
for later use; this meant manually recording changes made and
manually entering these changes for every race.
Unfortunately, F1 2002 STILL does not permit saving car set-
ups to separate files; however, the newest version of the
game does save the last-used set-up, so if a player wishes to
participate in events at the same venue multiple times
consecutively, there is no need to change set-ups.

The AI is FAR too aggressive, especially on standing starts.
Even if I qualify P1, I almost ALWAYS get tagged from behind,
which puts me off the track and eventually at the very back
of the field by the time I can recover.

The 107% Rule STILL has not been implemented.  The 107% rule
designates that those unable to qualify within 107% of the
Pole Position (P1) qualifying time cannot participate in the
race.  Over a year ago, I briefly discussed this issue with a
developer for EA Sports' F1 games, and was told that this was
to ensure that the player can ALWAYS participate in a race.
However, this is a very important rule in F1 racing and
should DEFINITELY be implemented, either permanently or via a
game option.

F1 2002 still does not include Intermediate Tires.

The same racequeen is used for every team and for every
driver at the beginning of a race; only the team uniform
changes.  This is true no matter where the race is held; one
would expect to see Japanese racequeens at Suzuka, Malaysian
racequeens at Sepang, French racequeens at Nevers Magny-
Cours, etc.; sadly, this is not the case.  However, the
racequeen's uniform is certainly rather interesting for the
BAR team :-)

The PlayStation/PSOne version of F1 Championship Season 2000
included Training Mode, which taught newcomers to F1 games
how to safely drive each of the seventeen race venues,
complete with real-time interactive commentary.  Training
Mode needs to be brought back.

Periodic radio updates on the points-paying positions would
be helpful, as it is not always feasible to safely watch the
World Feed (television) information at the bottom of the


The official FIA Web site (http://www.fia.com/) has a lot of
good information pertaining to F1 racing, including the
current season's race schedule, rules and regulations, and
links to the official Web sites of most of the courses used.
The FIA Web site is available in both French and English.

I also strongly suggest visiting Formula1.com
(http://www.formula1.com/) for F1 news and race information.
This is a FAR more interactive site than the FIA site,
including games, Flash-based virtual laps of each circuit,
team and driver information, extensive cross-linking between
articles, screensavers, quizzes, and much more.


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