Whilst nothing but a few driver changes have taken place in the real world of F1, it hasn't stopped Codemasters from taking on F1 2013 and adding in a few additional features.
You once again start off doing the forced Young Driver Test (which is pretty annoying), but at least you can skip straight to the second day if you have a save profile left over from F1 2012, which was useful.
The most notable changes in the game are the new tyre wear system which has been changed to mimic the real world F1 counter-parts once again, with the tyres going off a lot quicker than they did last year. It really forces you to properly look after your tyres and it does depend heavily on which car you drive. You will notice that the Mercedes is much more damaging to the tyres than say something like the Lotus is. There have also been some tweaks to the way that the fuel usage works, with you needing to manage it a bit more than what you did in the previous game.
They have also made a change to the way that the cars handle as well, whether this is something that has happened due to the new way that the tyres work I'm not sure, but there is a noticeable difference. They seem to have gone the right way with it now as well, the cars seem a lot more planted than they did last year and you don't run the risk of spinning out as easily as you perhaps could do before. You are also given quite a bit more feedback through the gamepad if you're trying to push the car too much, with vibrations being sent to the controller.
The biggest thing that is still lacking though is the awesome damage model that we saw in GRID. I have had many crashes that should have been race ending but I just carried on perfectly find like nothing happened, which is very disappointing. The good news however is that the AI has been massively improved, they no longer turn in on you on a corner and are much more aware of what is going on around them.
There isn't much that has really changed gameplay wise, it is all the same game modes, menu systems and post-race cut scenes, but they have at least added in a new "scenarios" mode where you can take part in various different scenarios such as Button vs. Vettel at Canada in 2011. The scenario mode has replaced the champions mode from last year, but does offer a wider variety of things to do. There is also a welcome return to a single-player custom championship, which they removed last year. This doesn't carry over to the multiplayer side of things though unfortunately. The last little feature that has been requested for quite a few years now is the ability to save mid-session, allowing those with little time to actually take part in a full length race for the first time.
The very stable regulations in the real world of F1 has allowed Codemasters to venture out into something that a lot of people have been asking for for quite a long time. The classic cars. The base game allows you to step into various different cars from the 80s era and take them through a time trial or pitting them against each other. It is very weird racing something like an '81 car against an '88 car but at least you can still get a 10 car sized race in the classics - it is just a shame that we don't have a full season replica of the earlier F1 games. You also have the option of two tracks from the '80s which are the well known Brands Hatch circuit and Jerez.
They have done it a bit weirdly though, by having a "team legend" and then the original driver, which sometimes ends up in strange choices but hey-ho, I suppose it is better than nothing. The only issue that I have seen with the classic content is that there is a strange colour filter (which you can turn off), and that the 2013 rules still apply such as the use of both tyre compounds in the race. I presume this is the case anyway, as you do still have to pit when you are racing, I didn't want to break the rules and get disqualified though!
The cars are fun to drive and there is a very big difference between these cars (very little grip) and the cars of today, you find yourself sliding around the track a lot more with the sparks flying. It doesn't stop there though, you can also pick up some DLC (or the Classic Edition) and get your hands on the '90s era of cars as well. I absolutely love the '90s cars and it was the very first thing that I tried out. There are some very good classics in there such as the 1996 Williams or the 1999 Ferrari.
Overall Codemasters have done a good job at bringing us a fourth straight F1 game even though not much has changed in the real world. There are some nice additions and the classic content is a good step forward. I can't help but feel the way that the classic content has been done is a bit "meh" though, it just doesn't feel right racing cars that are 5-9 years apart at times. Maybe in the future we'll get a decent remake of some of the earlier F1 games from the PSX such as F1 1997.
I would definitely pick this up if you're a fan of F1 and have enjoyed the previous games, this could well be the last time that we see an F1 game on the current generation, as the next-gen consoles are only around a month away now.