To be very clear, The Stig I am not, I'm much closer to Richard Hammond.
There is an episode of Top Gear which features Richard Hammond learning how to drive an F1 car, not the easiest of tasks. The speed at which they travel, the sharp corners which they go around, necessary reaction times, and all the other odds and ends to think about (brakes, tires, engine, other racers, etc.) require epic amounts of concentration. That amount of concentration is faithfully reproduced in Codemasters' new, licensed, F1 game, F1 2010.
Codemasters is the same studio who brought out last year's brilliant Dirt 2, and if you've played the off-road racing game you'll instantly recognize bits of F1 2010, most notably the trailer from which you can adjust the main gameplay settings and manage your career. The insides of the trailer may appear slightly different here and most of the time you'll be facing towards the door instead of away from it, but the basic feel is unmistakable (as is the area just outside the trailer). Of course, it's a setup that worked for that game, so perhaps the borrowing of it for this game is smart and efficient rather than just the latter. F1 also features the same in-race Flashback system so that you can rewind a set number of times if you make a big mistake.
Where the game greatly differs is in the type of race you're going to encounter. F1 is far more difficult once you're in your vehicle than Dirt ever was, and that's even setting this game to the easiest level of difficulty, which includes a braking assist. The game can help you out in other ways too. Rather than tweaking each part of the car set up – aerodynamics, braking, balance, suspension, gearbox, tires, engine, and alignment – yourself, you can have your engineer do it for you based on general outlines you provide. Yes, the game allows you the ability to do these things, but having the engineer do it is a nice feature as you try to learn all about actually driving an F1 car. And that, dear readers, as Richard Hammond could tell you, isn't easy.
The goal with the multiple difficulty levels seems to have been to ease you into F1 racing, which is a completely different breed of animal, but it doesn't always work terribly well. The ability to turn on or off an on-road depiction of the appropriate racing line is great (as is the fact that the line indicates by color whether you should be hitting the gas or break), and certainly by following the line you'll learn where you should be on the course (all 19 of the actual courses used by the pros this year are included). However, the braking assist doesn't really teach you how to brake properly, it just takes control of the car for you. Similarly, while a little pop-up will appear on the screen if you've overtaxed your engine, and you'll hear your pit telling you to stop revving the car so high, you'll never really be told what you're doing to cause the issue. In short, the game could really have used an expanded tutorial section to bring people who are unfamiliar with the sport into the fold.