This week, EA Sports revealed its cover art and other perks for the upcoming release of its 2021 Formula 1 game and to say it’s going to be legendary might be a bit of an understatement.
Of course, all of today’s driving stars are in the game. The cover features Lewis Hamilton, the favorite to win the F1 driving title in all of the online sports betting reviews. The Mercedes driver is currently in pursuit of his record-breaking eighth world driving crown.
EA Sports took over the F1 video game with its purchase late last year of Codemasters. Codemasters have been responsible for the design and release of the official F1 game since 2009. This year will mark the first time since 2003 that EA Sports has been involved in a Formula 1 game.
(TOP:”F1 2021 Deluxe Edition” by EA Sports is licensed under CC BY 3.0).
Alongside Hamilton on the cover is Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, among his closest pursuers for the world championship, as well as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. However, it’s who game players will uncover as one of the bonus features of this year’s game that is truly legendary.
Seven iconic Formula 1 drivers of the past can be accessed when in the game’s My Team mode. This group includes multiple world champions like Brazil’s Ayrton Senna and his former McLaren teammate Alain Prost. There’s also Michael Schumacher, current co-leader with Hamilton for the most career driving titles won.
Other legends featured are Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, David Coulthard and Felipe Massa. Let’s look back at the driving resumes of these iconic F1 racers.
Driving for the brand-new Brawn team in 2009, British driver Button launched one of the greatest starts to an F1 season ever witnessed. He won six of the first seven races on the calendar, tying an F1 record. He led the F1 points standings the entire season, wrapping up the title in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
With 169 starts, Button made the second-highest number of race starts before becoming World Champion. Only fellow Brit Nigel Mansell (176 starts) took longer to win his first title. Jensen made 306 career F1 starts. He won 15 races, qualified on pole position 8 times and earned 50 podium finishes.
Though Scotland’s Coulthard never won a world title, he did finish second in the F1 standings in 1999 and 2000 and third in 1998.
In total, he posted 13 wins, 62 podium finishes and 12 poles.
Like Coulthard, Massa was never a world champion. He lost the 2008 title to Hamilton by a point.
Massa needed a win in the final race and for Hamilton to finish no better than sixth. As Massa took the checkered flag, Hamilton was running sixth. But he made a pass to gain fifth on that final lap and secure the title.
“F1 2021 Deluxe Edition” by EA Sports is licensed under CC BY 3.0
A four-time world champion, Prost won three times with McLaren and once for Williams. He retired following his 1993 world title for Williams with a record 51 F1 victories, a mark later passed by Schumacher.
Prost also posted 106 podium finishes and earned 33 pole positions.
The last Mercedes driver not named Hamilton to win a world F1 title, Rosberg was champion in 2016. In fact, he’s the only driver not named Hamilton to win the F1 title since Sebastien Vettel in 2013.
Rosberg announced his retirement from motor racing five days after clinching that 2016 title. In his F1 career he drove in 206 Grand Prix races. Rosberg posted 23 wins and 57 podium finishes. He also earned 30 pole positions. Rosberg was inducted into the FIA Hall of Fame in 2017.
Schumacher holds a joint-record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles with Hamilton. He was champion in 1994-95 and then captured a record five titles in a row from 2000-04, a standard Hamilton could equal with a world title in 2021.
At the time of his 2012 retirement from the sport, Schumacher held the records for the most wins (91), pole positions (68) and podium finishes (155). All have since been broken by Hamilton. Schumacher maintains records for the most fastest laps (77) and shares the mark for the most races won in a single season with 13.
Senna won three F1 world titles in four years between 1988-91. The Brazilian posted 41 wins in 162 starts. Senna earned 80 podium finishes and 65 pole positions.
He was just 34 when he died in a crash while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.