F1 2021 is the official video game of the 2021 Formula One and Formula 2 Championships developed by Codemasters and published by EA Sports. It is the fourteenth title in the F1 series by Codemasters and the first in the series published by Electronic Arts under its EA Sports division since F1 Career Challenge in 2003. Codemasters revealed F1 2021 on April 15, 2021, as the official game of the 2021 Formula One and Formula 2 championships, featuring story mode and new circuits including Imola, Portimão, and the newcomer Jeddah. The Marina Bay, Melbourne and Montreal circuits featured on the game as originally intended, despite the cancellation of these races in real life due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The game was released on July 16, 2021, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. The deluxe edition of F1 2021 was released three days before on July 13, 2021.
The game introduced a story mode called Braking Point. According to a statement by Codemasters, Braking Point “immerses players into the glamorous world of Formula One, giving a taste of the lifestyle both on and off the track: the rivalries, emotion, and dedication needed to compete at the highest level.” This story mode is set across three seasons (2019 in Formula 2, while 2020 and 2021 are in Formula One). Braking Point is based on the Netflix docuseries Formula 1: Drive to Survive. There are five selectable teams in Braking Point: Racing Point (later Aston Martin), Scuderia AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo Racing, Haas, and Williams. The player assumes the role of Aiden Jackson, a rising British F2 star who is ascending the ranks in the hope of becoming a Formula One champion. While he does put up a good front for the cameras, outside the track, he is struggling in the transition to Formula One, competing against the best drivers in the world.
For the first time in career mode, it is now possible for two players to play career mode together (either as teammates or rivals). As the game is based on the 2021 Formula One season, the game introduced rookies Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin (who are also free agents in the F1 2020 My Team Career mode), and Yuki Tsunoda. Both Alpine and Aston Martin also appeared in the game because both Renault and Racing Point, respectively, previously featured on F1 2020, have been rebranded for this season. In May 2021, it was announced that seven Formula One World Champions and legends would become selectable drivers in My Team. They are Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, David Coulthard, and Felipe Massa.
Whichever team the player chooses, the character Brian Doyle is featured in the story. Doyle serves as a direct liaison to the team principal, be it Otmar Szafnauer (Racing Point-Aston Martin), Franz Tost (Scuderia AlphaTauri), Frédéric Vasseur (Alfa Romeo), Guenther Steiner (Haas), and Jost Capito (Williams). Braking Point also features a social media option in the pre-race menu, in which F1 eSports broadcasters Natalie Pinkham and Matthew Gallagher, former drivers David Coulthard, Karun Chandhok, and Anthony Davidson (Anthony had been providing his voice to the games alongside David Croft since F1 2015), and F1 YouTube personalities Aarav “aarava” Amin, Benjamin “Tiametmarduk” Daly, Jimmy Broadbent, and Scott “IntoTheBarrier” Wallis all appear.