Review: London’s F1 Arcade arrives just in time for the 2023 season

Ahead of the Formula 1 2023 season this weekend, the F1 Arcade near St Paul’s Cathedral is the place to be.

The arcade has 60 full motion car racing simulators, big screen TV’s show casting the races, mini reaction games and a cocktail bar and kitchen.

The simulators cost £15.75 which can be booked as a team racing experience or head to head battle for smaller groups.

One booking entails around 20-30 minutes worth of racing which gives players around 4 races including fan favourite tracks such as Bahrain, Monza and Spa.

There are four modes to play, from rookie to pro, which in turn determine the difficulty of the simulated race so everyone has a good and fair chance without crashing at every corner. 

The higher the mode means lower driver assistance, this can include the lack of breaking and steering assist and traction control. 

Inside of the venue. Credit: Libby Jennings.

Being a rookie myself, a podium did not seem to be on my horizon however the driver and motion feed back helped build my confidence and by the last race I came first through the help of cutting corners and crashing other virtual players out: we can’t all be Sainz. 

Throughout the races players gain points for numerous things other than gaining podium positions, for example, having the quickest average speed may bump up someone’s scoring.

At the end of the simulation, the player with the most points wins arcadians which can be spent virtually to get tickets for the mini games, a lottery entry for Sunday tickets to the Silverstone British GP or to put towards your food and drinks.

There is two mini games called Lights Out and React costing 50 arcadians each, equating to £1 a go, and both have the same premise of clicking buttons as fast as you can to get the best score on the leaderboard while testing your reaction times.

Lights Out mini game. Credit: Libby Jennings.

After all that racing the cocktail bar is the perfect pit stop, which has a vast list of cocktails and alcohol to choose from including Heat Cycle, a tequila based drink to Slipstreamer, a whiskey based drink alongside many non-alcoholic drinks.

Watch parties of the races are also available throughout the season providing the ultimate fan zone with general admission costing £39.

The F1 Arcade definitely provides something special for F1 fans who can relax, game and talk to other fans however there is still room for improvement.

The mini games last around a minute length and are essentially the same game marketed differently which could have more of a reward factor of including chances to win arcadians.

The £15.75 price mark is a tad expensive for the time limit on the simulations especially when considering that Oxford St’s Selfridges has a similar interactive F1 driving simulator by Smartech which is free of cost to customers.

Other inexpensive ways to get ready for the season is to watch the new season of Drive to Survive on Netflix.

Featured image credit: Libby Jennings

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