The annual reveal of Codemaster’s latest edition of their highly rated Formula One titles is upon us, and this year – aptly called F1 2013 – the usual offering of all things recent in the sport is joined by something rather special.

For the first time, players can now play as legendary drivers on tracks of yester-year in the F1 Classics mode, bringing parts of the tapestry of the illustrious sport to your front room.

Developed by Codemasters as part of an exclusive multi-year deal with Formula One World Championship Limited, the game will be available in two editions: F1 2013 and F1 2013: Classic Edition.

F1 2013 is exactly what it says on the tin – the complete, current F1 season including all the driver changes, regulation tweaks and tyre changes that we’re enjoying right here and now.

New features include a new Scenario Mode, pitting players against a series of authentic racing challenges with medals to be won. Once you’ve mastered them on single player, you can then enter co-operative challenges in split-screen and online with friends to see just who’s the best!

The Young Driver Test Mode, which served as a tutorial for new players in F1 2012, has now been expanded with more challenges, with more competitive teams being unlocked to go through the returning Grand Prix Mode. Want to compete a full season as a Red Bull driver? Not before you pass the tests first!

As for the F1 2013: Classic Edition, well, that’s where it all gets interesting.

Introduced by none other than Murray Walker, this limited, premium package will include content from the 1980s and 1990s, all fully playable, allowing gamers to race against a mixture of original drivers and renowned team legends in iconic cars and features four historical tracks.

Details are few and far between at the time of publishing, but here’s what we know. There will be three available packs, a 1980s one that will be available with all copies of F1 2013, plus an additional two packs, one based on the 1990s, the other adding two more classic tracks.

The last two will be available as separate DLC, and will be included in all copies of F1 2013: Classics Edition

F1 Classics: 1980s Content includes:

  • Ten legendary drivers including Nigel Mansell, Mario Andretti and Gerhard Berger
  • Five iconic cars
  • Circuito De Jerez – Former host of the Spanish Grand Prix
  • Brands Hatch – Legendary former home of the British Grand Prix

F1 Classics: 1990s Content includes:

  • A host of famous drivers including David Coulthard, Jacques VIlleneuve, Eddie Irvine, Alain Prost and others.
  • Six iconic cars

Classics Tracks Pack includes:

  • Imola – Former host of the San Marino Grand Prix
  • Estoril – Former host of the Portuguese Grand Prix

All this classic content can also be enjoyed in a range of further game modes, including quick race, split-screen and online multiplayer modes.

Codemasters have done what many game franchises struggle to do – take the exisiting, succesful platform and build on it. Adding the ability to not only race as today’s heros, but ones of different generations, will reach into the imaginations of several generations of gamers.

We’re a sucker for retro themed F1, and thanks to Codemasters we can race as some of our all time favourites now too. Can we wait to race the Williams FW14B around Silverstone as Nigel Mansell? You better believe it!

F1 2013 and F1 2013: Classic Edition will be available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC this Autumn.