F1 2011 vs. iRacing – Suzuka Comparison

Both iRacing.com and Codemasters’ recently-released F1 2011 title feature virtual Formula One cars and the Japanese Grand Prix venue Suzuka.

While iRacing’s online racing simulation offers a laser-scanned version of both the Japanese track and the 2009 Williams FW31, F1 2011 gives players the chance to race the 2011 FW33 that’s being driven by Rubens Barrichello & Pastor Maldonado.

RacingLineAustralia has put together a very interesting comparison video, showing a lap in both titles at Suzuka side by side. Which do you think looks and sounds more realistic? The all out simulation or Codemasters’ mass-market hit?


  • Cenotaph

    The video is not purely about track look… I wouldn’t have a problem with that. I think I made it pretty clear what I’m talking about already. And let’s not forget this site is about sim racing, so maybe I’m right, this doesn’t belong here.

  • F1Racer

    ” I just don’t like when someone says that something might be wrong without trying the stuff before any worthy comment.”

    So you’ve tried F1-2011 at Suzuka also then ?

    As much as you don’t care about F1-2011′s ride height, I don’t care about iRacing’s.
    I didn’t suggest anything was broken.  If you read what I wrote I said I thought iRacing’s kerb riding was as innacurate as F1-2011′s only going in the opposite direction.   I’m entitled to that opinion.
    Saying you prefer sim games over arcade games on VirtualR is needless.  It doesn’t make you special.  I prefer sim too, obviously and I suspect so to 95%+ if people who visit here.   It is a sim-based blog after all.

    Not sure why you mentioned Call of Duty because that is only a highlight over your opinion that COD is better than the others.  That is YOUR opinion.  Many others will argue that ARMA is far more war simulated.  Some will even choose MOH.   In the end its all pointless because what really matters is what you get out of a particular game.  There is no right and wrong.
    If I said Race07 was the best sim feeling I get from a game then that is not wrong because it is my opinion for me.

    If iRacing was that good it wouldn’t need such aggressive defending.  Maybe F1-2011 does need people in it’s corner because it gets an automatic bad rap.   

    Don’t need the F1/car setup lectures either.  Been in the game long enough to know and understand that stuff.

  • sandboxgod

    I plan on looking at f1 2011 for my PC but regardless like someone else pointed out I dont see anyone leaving iRacing for f1 2011. its still very arcade with AI controlling my car in pits, etc (unless I selected the wrong option when I tested it) & it’s of course missing iRacing’s incredible online setup. 

  • Nathan Robinson

    To be honest justin, fans of every sim are defensive. Thats why we have these arguments.

  • Nathan Robinson

    I like how the guy asked if the iracing f1 was free to try, as if the codemasters version was!!! LAWL LAWL LAWL.

  • Eduardo Pimentel

    Some people here say the tracks are close enough…. Are you kidding… It’s plain and obvious to see.. and I’m no alien racer… The F1 2011 version is missing so many height changes, dip ins and angles it does not even look close. The S’s in the first few corners are banked inward, sort of like a sand dune or wave motion… in F1 2011 they are dead flat…
    Don’t get me wrong.. I play F1 2011 more often than I do iRacing… because iRacing requires time and concentration…. When I play F1 2011 I don’t even plug in my wheel anymore… I just play it with gamepad to pass some time and have some fun…
    However fun it might be though, the track in F1 2011 looks like it could be done in Trackmania, and then added with some good graphics…

  • Norbi Wo

    Agressive defending? I prefer Call of Duty? Never mind, live in your world mate.

  • peruteamracing

    for a simracer, visual comparison is not as important as the physics of the car. F12011 and  iRacing have no point of comparison. one is 100% simulation and the other 100% arcade, same as Richard Burns Rally and Dirt3.
     Beautiful  and impressive graphics abound in the last generation arcades (F1 2011, Dirt3, NFS Shift, GT5, etc etc etc) but the closest simulation to real have only few, including iRacing, RBR, GTR2, rFactor, nK -Pro, GTL, LFS, ARCA

  • Julien Apruzzese

    My last words.
    We love F1 2011 and we love iRacing.
    But please stop lying to the racing community.

  • Cenotaph

    the thing is even though iRacing is my baby atm I don’t really feel the need to be limited to iracing and I can enjoy what other sims have to offer. What really put me off is seeing such ridiculous lines in the F1 2011 in those corners, and the very first comment and following trying to make a case about how that actually is a point for F1 2011 rather than iRacing.

  • Evan Maillard

    I have nothing more to say, you cn ride curbs in iRacing, just not full trottle, just like in real life, get over it.

  • F1Racer

    Not sure what the AI control in the pits has to do with a Suzuka track comparison.
    And the AI doesnt control your car in the pits, the game does.

    F1-wise do you really need me to list all the things that iRacing is missing compared to F1-2011 ?

  • F1Racer

    WTF are you on about, my world ?   How can be anywhere else?  And considering you are debating with me, you must be in my world too.  

    Try making yourself clearer.

  • Ricoo

    You forgot GSC as great sim.

  • F1Racer

    If the debate over what is sim or arcade is down to physics then you are free to make up a track comparison video with anything.   People are pissed off about it because they are personally insulted that iRacing should be compared to anything they don’t consider a sim.

    This is a track comparison.  Layout, elevation changes, trackside objects etc..  Physics don’t even come into it!    

    I do find it very narrow-visioned that you have 2 lists of games and simply put them into 2 different boxes.  It’s just not that simple.   There are levels of sim and arcade and it is NOT black and white with a game being 100% sim or 100% arcade.   Why not 95% ?
    If WRC2 is 100% arcade then are you going to say DiRT 3 is also despite that DiRT 3 blows WRC2 away ?

    Is GTR2 more or less sim than nkpro ?   Is LFS more or less sim than GTL ?  Are they all 100% or is one better than the other ?   It’s all a matter of degree.
    Oh and you missed RACE07 out.   If NFS Shift is arcade, what is Burnout or Mario Kart ?   You going to put them in the same category ?  Seriously ?

    Also rFactor is 100% sim?  Most mods are made by young guys in their bedrooms using resources gathered from the net.  Do all rFactor mods have pure sim physics ?  No.
    So if you have a mod with ‘arcade’ physics in rFactor, then what is it?  Arcade or Sim ?

    Anyone who puts racing games into only 2 categories really needs to re-evaluate things from a more mature and objective perspective.

  • Ricoo

    iRacing has the best physics, tracks accuracy, clean race multiplayer system and realistic graphics, F1 2011 has the best… wait I don’t find anything in fact. :)

  • F1Racer

    The video shows things as they are.  Where is the lie ?  What is the lie ?

  • Marcelo Amaral

    People complaining on how iRacing’s FW31 should search some Star Mazda videos. If you get anywhere NEAR curbs the open wheeler will just send you to the nearest wall and no setups will fix that. I wonder if that’s some sort of code problem for open wheelers in iRacing.

  • Nathan Robinson

    F1 racer, you are trolling this thread like a madman. Relax, you dont need to go on the warpath for f1 2011. I see your posts knocking iracers and their “hyper-sensitivity” but ffs man, the same could be said to you and f1 2011 with all these headache inducing posts you’re leaving. You are so “hyper-sensitive” to anyone who doesn’t see it your way and you talk about people being mature as well, yet you dispute any claim that you deem invalid like a little kid with a “look at me” attitude. You are just dying for attention, because i’m guessing people in real life probably dont give you much. It could be your high maintenance woman approach to all this. Get away from your pc and release some built up pressure, if you know what i mean.

  • Nathan Robinson

    Sounds like your the one doing the defending f1 racer.

  • Cenotaph

    It is not black and white but at the same time it’s not difficult. It has a lot to do with the target market. rFactor, iRacing, LFS, nkPro are not trying to build a solution for the masses, they are trying to build a solution for hobbyist racers and real drivers who are interested in experience what is like to drive an actual car withing the unfortunate boundaries imposed by our hardware and peripherals. Codemasters, NFS Shift, Forza and GT series are trying to capitalize on the love and popularity of racing in a more superficial level, they aim to reward the player easily with a quick thrill, shiny graphics, dumbed down physics, no need for proper controllers, are all part of that. A game like that could never be called a simracing title.

  • F1Racer

    Well hardly.   Have you seen how defensive the iRacers are?   Someone needs to be in F1-2011′s corner.

    Besides na-than, I happen to recognise the strengths of both iRacing and F1-2011 and Im not really saying anything that isnt true or objective.

  • F1Racer

    Aye Nathan.  What a hypocratic post that was.  Everything you have described there, you have just done yourself in 1 post.  Attention seeking, built up pressure etc..

    Hehe, I’m not trolling.  Making many posts isn’t trolling. I’m not on the warpath either.  I happen to like a good debate and some people here are easy targets with their narrow sim/arcade viewpoints.
    Plus I’m bored this evening with nothing better to do.  
    I’ve not posted here for a while so Im hanging out on the net tonight and keeping up with this toic for one night.  You’re not going to allow me that ? :)

    I don’t mind if people don’t see things my way.  Everyone has different opinons.  Thats a good thing.  Just allow me to state mine too ok ?    Of course I would dispute claims that are invalid.  I would hardly dispute valid ones now would I ??  

    And learn to spell my nickname right will ya.  Its only respectful.
    Oh and if you personally want to have it out with me, let me know and I`ll give you my MSN.  Then we can see whats what.

  • F1Racer

    True to a degree but at what point to physics turn from arcade to sim if you put aside whether the title is mass market or not.   Is it then the market audience that decides if its a sim or arcade ?

    If all the titles we consider ‘sims’ didnt exist and I gave you Shift 2 and Burnout Paradise.   Which one are you going to think ‘simulate’s race driving better ?    It’s a world of difference.

    iRacing has it’s drawbacks, some of which dont make it viable in certain areas (such as no AI, offline modes etc).   F1-2011 has them but doesn’t simulate the car as well as iRacing does.
    So it’s pretty much down to each person to decide what they like to drive and what they can have fun with.  Their own opinions.    The rest, all this debate, is largely irrelevant.

  • F1Racer

    Let me help you… F1-2011 has better AI, DRS, KERS, Safety Car, all teams, all drivers, 2011 rules and regs, wet weather, offline play.  And it’s cheaper to run.  
    For a complete F1 experience, no matter how accurate it may be, iRacing cannot even compete with F1-2011 despite the physics difference.  Ouch! That’s gotta hurt.  
    No-one is disputing iRacing’s credentials and no-one is saying F1-2011′s physics are better than iRacings because that would just be silly. 

  • craig

    I seriuosly doubt you could set the iRacing F1 in it’s current state to take kerbs like this.

  • Silly(c)One

    Wow, F1Racer, tonight you’re blowing everything in the water with pure wisdom and consciousness !

    2012, here we come ;)

  • Cenotaph

    I do some curbs like that in Les Combes for instance and in other places at Spa. The BusStop is the only one that can be really touchy if you are aggressive on throttle over it. OTM has a low speed grip problem.

    but please note how much driving skill is also involved there, how Lewis essentially coasts the car carefully over the curbs and has to correct the wheel leaving the curbs. You can easily spin a car if you abuse it, make no mistake about it.

  • Cenotaph

    Sure, to each his own, ppl enjoy different things, nothing wrong about that.

  • Riches

    Damn… 75 post on such a non important item…
    Who’s right….i am… no i am…
    Just have fun in whatever game you play!!!
    You all could have trained quite a lot of laps instaead of mocking here.

  • melanieuk

    What else do you expect, they have to defend their £700 a year addiction.

  • N G

    I used to race the SM in iRacing, i never had a problem of going into a wall or spinning because of a curb (ok, maybe with the exception of infinion T1/2)

    Infact i really enjoyed that car, thinking back.  No doubt it’ll be even better with the NTM

  • N G

    Meh, listing things that F1-2011 does _better_ than iRacing when iRacing dosnt actually do those things, is like saying, im better than beathoven at playing rock drumming.

    iRacing wont ever have KERS/DRS until they give us a 2011 car, which i doubt will happen as we already have a modern F1 car, having another will just dilute leagues even more. Which is one of iRacings strongest points, its leagues and community.

    Wet weather… iRacing may give us that one day. Though, unless they implement it in a way that too many people wont whinge about not being able to get a dry race in a particular week, or something. NKPro has wet weather and i believe most people who race NKPro dont use it very much and opt for dry races.

    About it being cheaper to run, an age old argument that is completly pointless. I’ve been with iRacing for almost 2 years now and im on it almost daily, wether its practice or racing. I spent 50 quid on 2010, played it for 3 days and never touched it again…So maybe people should be talking about value for money, rather than just the set price its-self.  Its what you _get out_ of that money determines wether its worth it or not.

  • N G

    “What else do you expect, they have to defend their £700 a year addiction.”

    Typical mis-information being spread, as per.

    Like i said in my previous post, ive been with iRacing for nearly 2 years, i have shit loads of circuits and cars. I havn’t spent nowhere near that amount, and im using the service almost daily.

    I spend more on coffee’s at work per week than i do iRacing, so you can spend 50£ on a game and play it for a few weeks if you want, but if you wanna work out price/use ratios, i think you’ll be the one out of pocket.

  • GTEvo

    There is no optical, really relevant different, between iR and CM.
    That Texturing from CM looks more real, that makes the Illusion nearly perfect to ride a real Car, i a real virtual World.

    These two Facts together “beaten” iRacings laserscanned Monopol.

    Im glad to see this wonderfull real looking CM Tracks..’cause i know we will see all these Tracks converted next Year in rFactor2 8-)

    Take it Isi

  • Kris Baxter

    But only in your example, not everyone ditched 2010 straight away. I could argue I paid my $40 for rfactor when it first came out and it still gets a look in twice a week all these years later. A one off fee is and always will be better than a subscription. Likewise Race07, if I paid a subscription for a game I would feel obligated to play it as much as possible to justify the ongoing cost, meaning my other games don’t get a chance.

  • Justin ForzaBarça D’Cruze


  • F1Racer

    “Meh, listing things that F1-2011 does _better_ than iRacing when iRacing dosnt actually do those things, is like saying, im better than beathoven at playing rock drumming.    
    iRacing wont ever have KERS/DRS until they give us a 2011 car, which i doubt will happen as we already have a modern F1 car.”
    Thats kind of the point I was trying to make when Ricoo was trying to compare iRacing to F1-2011.  It’s equally as irrelevant, don’t you think ?

    N G, either cut down on the coffees, make the coffees at work (free) or take a thermos. :)

  • F1Racer

    Mmmmm cake…aargghgghghgh

  • Ricoo

    Comparison is relevant on the points I underlined. You have the right to disagree or be upset, but really I don’t mind.


  • N G


    The way i see it, if you like a product, you’ll weigh up in your head wether its worth it to you, individually.

    I know people who spend far far more on their hobbies. I’ve raced all sorts of sims over the past 10 years or so, and while there are some good ones, iRacing is the complete package, and the (what i consider) small amount of money it costs to run it, then its no problem for me, and given the time i’ve spent on it, oppose to other sims, i’ve gotten far more bang for my buck.

    I spent what, 14 dollars on FVA, done a few hotlaps, havn’t touched it since.  Not because its bad, but because it offers me nothing more than a hotlap on my own.  Before i bought it i knew i wasnt going to be able to race people etc, but i thought, 7 english pound for an officially sanctioned Ferrari F1 car with nkpro engine? bargin. i spent that on a pack of cigs today.

  • F1Racer

    Ricoo, but all you’ve done is take a specific list of what iRacing does better than F1-2011 and wrote them out.   I did the same vice-versa.   It depends what you want out of it.  
    If you want a 1-make F1 car with better physics than a full 2011 season grid with less accurate physics then iRacing is the way to go.  Otherwise F1-2011 takes an easy win regardless of its flaws.
    There is no way I can get a complete F1 experience in iRacing like I can in F1-2011 and if that means I have to sacrifice some physics accuracy and ride a few kerbs if I so wish, then so be it.

    Or I`ll play any of the good rFactor F1 mods.  Depends how I’m feeling at the time really.   
    I can enjoy more than one, see.  

    So you’ve not given me anything to disagree about really I just offered a counter view in the same vain as you did.     As for upset ?   Naaah.   Takes a LOT more than that m8.

    Just remember, this isnt a stab at iRacing and if it was, what do you care anyway ?

  • F1Racer

    Can you define ‘complete package’.
    There is no wet or dynamic weather, no AI, no offline racing or practice, single make cars and a limited selection of cars and tracks.
    Physics, laser-scanned tracks and a good tyre model alone might not be everyones idea of a complete package.  A subscription based one at that.

    I dont think I’ve seen a game or sim that is the complete package because the very definition of complete is way too vague.

  • N G

    “Can you define ‘complete package’.  
    There is no wet or dynamic weather, no AI, no offline racing or practice, single make cars and a limited selection of cars and tracks.”

    Well, Wet/dynamic weather is something we may get in the future, its not a major stumbling block for me at the moment, in sims that do have it, people dont really utilise it anyway, its one of those things that is great in theory but is never used alot.  AI i dont care about, ive never enjoyed racing the computer.  Offline racing, well, you can do personal testing sessions, ok its not technically offline,  you need to be logged into the site, but then, its 2011, who dosnt have the internet these days?    

    There is a limited selection of cars and tracks, but then im a quality over quantity sort of person.

    When i mean its the complete package.. i get a sim that looks great/fresh (i cant stand frilly over saturated colours), great physics model, with a brilliant tyre model on its way, laser scanned tracks, fantastic cars that are built to awesome accuracy, and a solid league system for getting races, as well as a system that activly discourages bad racing (though, it happens :] )  Then theres the fact that iRacers know their sim is constantly being worked on, day in day out

  • N G

    PS. when i say its the complete package, i am of course meaning, in comparison to its competitors, not most complete package period.  There are areas iRacing is and should be working on. The good thing is, we know iRacing is always being worked on, and new builds are ‘free’

  • F1Racer

    Ok thats all fine.
    But what you’re saying is its complete enough for you personally and for your requirements.
    It may not be complete for others.   Some may consider rFactor a complete package because of how many different mods and racing genres are on it.   For example you can race in GTR2 or rFactor with a proper field of GT cars (Porsche, Ferrari, Lambo etc.).   You cannot do this, so far, in iRacing.

    So it’s fair to say that complete package is not a hard fast set of rules that define a sim, its dependant on the requirements of each individual.    So to say one package is complete can really only be personal opinion and not a fact.    
    iRacing is an amazing sim, there is no doubt, but for me personally it is not complete.  There are things I require in a sim that it doesn’t have and some it may never have.     But that is only my personal opinion because it’s all about my own tastes.

    In fact, thinking about it, if someone asked me what I consider to be the most complete racing package, I dunno what I`d say :) .    Maybe rFactor comes closest for me.   It has physics and tyres modelling even if it may or may not be as good as iRacings.  And I can choose GT’s, F1′s,  V8 Supercars, Historic racing, single make racing and whatever else there is for it.
    I would consider F1-2011 or even GP4 to be a complete package if you only count Formula 1.
    F1-2011 is certainly more complete than rFactor in F1 terms even if its physics may not be as accurate.   Although some F1 mods Ive tried (conversions) in rFactor have physics far worse than F1-2011 :)       Swings and roundabouts as they say.

  • N G

    Completely agree with that post F1Racer. It depends what a user wants from a sim which defines how much they think they’re willing to pay for it. iRacing has what i want and i dont think im being robbed for that service. It maybe expensive relative to other sims, but it has qualities about it that i am willing to pay that bit extra for.

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