Welcome back to Formula 1! Feral Interactive have given Linux gaming another great title, with the release of F1 2017 today.

Disclosure: My key was provided by Feral Interactive.

This is the first title from Feral Interactive that is Vulkan only, hopefully this means all future ports will use Vulkan so they can continue to refine their Vulkan work and keep improving the performance.

Here’s a little look at the Linux version in video form. This took far too many takes, more than I would care to admit, and I still didn't manage to win. Let's say it's just to show off how well it runs and ignore my complete lack of skill, shall we?

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I actually thought I did okay until one of those last corners—dammit!

Port report & Benchmarks

The game has a built in benchmark mode, to access it simply go into the main settings, then to graphics options and you will see the entry there. This has made testing it rather easy, especially with the nice output it gives at the end.

In terms of the actual performance, it performs pretty damn well. I decided to dust off the Windows 10 drive to make a proper comparison for this one.

System specifications for testing: Ubuntu 17.10 (Gnome)/Windows 10, Intel i7-5960X 3GHZ, Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti (387.22), 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1080p. All benchmarks had AA and AFx16 on.

First up, are the Linux scores. Please note all benchmarks were done on the preview build, but I don't expect the released build to have changed much in terms of performance. Also, the benchmarks were also tested on the 384 driver series, which showed practically no difference.

Update: Benchmarks re-done on the release build, no real difference.

F1 2017, Ubuntu 17.10, 16xAFIntel i7-5960X, Nvidia GTX 980 Ti (387.22), 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1080p Ultra High 80Ultra HighHigh 108HighMedium 123MediumLow 126Low Ultra High 80Min: 62 | Max: 96High 108Min: 78 | Max: 136Medium 123Min: 94 | Max: 158Low 126Min: 94 | Max: 165 80108123126 0265278104130 Average FPS

As you can see, even on the highest setting it hits above 60FPS at a minimum, making it super smooth and responsive to play.

For comparison, here are the Linux (Vulkan) vs Windows (DirectX) scores:

Linux Windows F1 2017 Linux - Ubuntu 17.10 vs Windows 10Intel i7-5960X, Nvidia GTX 980 Ti, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1080p Ultra HighHighMediumLow Linux 80Min: 62 | Max: 96Windows 115Min: 100 | Max: 138Linux 108Min: 78 | Max: 136Windows 176Min: 146 | Max: 209Linux 123Min: 94 | Max: 158Windows 198Min: 165 | Max: 237Linux 126Min: 94 | Max: 165Windows 212Min: 162 | Max: 253 80115108176123198126212 04386129172215 Average FPS

See also: Samsai took a look at the performance with an AMD GPU.

While it’s another Linux port that doesn’t perform to Windows levels, I’m more than happy that on max settings it will stay above 60FPS resulting in a fantastic experience all around. Even so, it’s hard to ignore the difference in performance here which is pretty big. Much bigger difference than what I was personally expecting.

Of course, benchmarks only tell a tiny part of the story. I personally never put too much faith in benchmarks, considering you need to have the exact same hardware and software setup to see my scores. The question is, how does the game actually feel to play? Hopefully I will answer that and more below!

As usual, the Feral launcher looks awesome. Customized for F1 2017 with all the usual bits and bobs I’ve come to appreciate like monitor and resolution picking:

An interesting feature that I’ve never seen before, is the launcher giving an option of sending a crash report to Feral directly. It allows you to enter an email address too, so that they can get in touch—handy! I should note that was a driver issue my end, nothing to do with the game itself.

The game will tell you if your CPU is not in high performance mode, which their FAQ shows to run this command:

echo performance | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor

With this to set it back into power saving mode:

echo powersave | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor

Run them at your own risk, I am simply copying them from the Feral FAQ to make it simple. For me, I haven’t had any issues using them.

The Linux version does seem to have at least one graphical difference with the Windows version. On Windows, Ambient Occlusion seems to have On/Off, ASSAO and HBAO+, but on Linux we don’t get HBAO+.

The first load of the game can take a while, for me it was around three minutes. Likely doing shader compiling, but every run after that took seconds. Don’t be alarmed if your first load time is rather long.

I haven't had a single freeze or crash, not once. I think this might actually be the most stable Linux port I've had from Feral Interactive. Really pleased with that.

Some thoughts

Following on from the Linux release of F1 2015, what we have here is a completely different world in terms of content and how the game feels as a whole. Since we didn’t get F1 2016, for Linux gamers it is such a huge difference it’s nuts.

I’m not someone who generally keeps up with F1 nowadays, so I won’t go into details on how it’s faithful to the sport or anything like that. I’m taking it as it is, with it being a rather great racing game to have on Linux.

Honestly, the way the career mode feels it's almost like a racing-RPG. There’s a fair bit of customization on offer, starting with actually creating a character, instead of choosing a famous driver while you also pick your team, helmet style and so on. I think it really helps with the sense of satisfaction in a racing game such as this, if I'm racing under my own name with my own style it makes me more excited to be a proper part of it.

I tend to fall out with racing games pretty quickly, as they end up being a dull experience once you’ve gone from race to race and nothing really changes. With F1 2017, it gives you plenty to do thanks to features like the R&D system, engine management and more. Seriously, it feels like I’m levelling up my car in some sort of RPG when I’m using my points.

You get Resource Points from completing practice sessions, winning races and so on. You can then spend those in the R&D Tree. Here, you can tweak your vehicle by adjusting the Chasis, Aerodynamics, Powertrain and Durability.

The downside of the career mode are the character models when you’re speaking to someone, as they’re a bit naff. Not the worst I’ve seen, but not amazing either. I’m not all that fussed about them though, considering the main point of the game is the racing.

The inclusion of some classic cars from the last 30 years is also a really nice touch, for those who love the classic designs it’s quite exciting to be able to drive them. They look absolutely gorgeous too. In fact, all the cars both modern and classic look highly polished and realistic. During the career mode, you will get invited to some events to drive these classic cars, but you can also choose to use them in races outside of the career mode if you desire. The events themselves are always different as well, some of which can be really quite challenging.

The rivalry system was also a good bit of fun, with you being given a rival over a period of multiple racing weekends. You gain access to a few statistics and winning the rivalry awards you “kudos” with your team. Throughout the rivalry, it will update you on how you’re doing, to give you that little bit extra to work towards and it’s yet another feature that really helped me get invested in the whole experience.

Two things I did notice is that the voice over work was far too quiet against the rest of the game and, along with that, the subtitles are done really weirdly. The subtitles tend to advance too quickly, which was a bit odd. Not a major issue, just weirdly timed.

What makes the driving experience great in F1 2017 is that the cars don’t suddenly go into an uncontrollable mess as soon as a wheel touches the dirt like a lot of racing games. I do that a lot too, because I’m an awful driver. Please don’t ever let me drive a real car, let alone an F1 car. On top of that, when you’re going full-throttle, it still feels like you have a good amount of control over the vehicle.

The driving experience is truly engaging, with your team chatting in your ear if you do an illegal move, warning you to cede that position or get a penalty. Something I heard rather a lot! Still unsure as to the exact rules, since at times I'm sure I've not been penalized for the same manoeuvrers. If you’ve got some damage, they will ask if you want to change your strategy with a little display in the right corner of the screen and show you what is damaged and how badly.

I'll be honest, racing in F1 2017 does feel like a bit of a tiring experience. Considering how long some of the races are, it's not going to be a game for everyone. For me it's especially difficult with my permanent hand injury, but I've enjoyed it so much I've tried powering through the pain for this. The game has made me sweat in fear as I swing around corners, as I move my body uncontrollably left and right with the turns, it's just such an awesome feeling.

Also, the game can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. There’s plenty of options for driving assists like braking assistance, anti-lock brakes, dynamic racing line (all the time, or corners only), pit assist and so on. You can also choose the difficulty of the AI, so there’s a lot of options to enable people of all skill to enjoy it.


Overall, it beats the pants off of F1 2015. A proper career mode, which is exciting to play, drivers that seem to have reasonably good AI and it does look fantastic. Probably the best F1 game I’ve ever played, hell, it’s one of the best racing games I’ve ever played.

As I said before, I haven’t really followed the sport properly for years. As I got older my interest in it just faded away, however, after playing F1 2017 it’s made me excited about it again.

We will be doing a livestream tonight on our Twitch channel, unless something truly terrible happens. It should be a community game, so you will be welcome to join in with us!

You can find F1 2017 for Linux on Steam and the Feral Store.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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pete910 2 Nov, 2017
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Well, looks like my Thrustmaster F430 Force Feedback aint supported :'(

Any idea anyone ?
silmeth 2 Nov, 2017
Well, it should be possible to implement D3D11 using Vulkan with good performance, as Vulkan is much lower-level. So hypothetically a good implementation should not give too much performance penalty, and a port to Vulkan with comparable performance should be possible.

But Feral is only one company, porting (probably in a hurry) the whole games, and not just 3D APIs – so I don’t think they have enough resources to keep up in their D3D11-subset implementation on Vulkan with the level of optimizations GPU driver maintainers make in the Windows drivers.

And Vulkan is still one layer above the hardware, so the drivers authors, working directly on HW, have a bit more freedom to optimize. And there’s also the fact that Vulkan is still somewhat young API and its own implementations in drivers is not as optimized as they could be, giving still a bit more penalty.

So I believe they did a very good job overall. :)

Last edited by silmeth on 2 November 2017 at 9:05 pm UTC
tuubi 2 Nov, 2017
Quoting: liamdaweI'll be honest, racing in F1 2017 does feel like a bit of a tiring experience.
F1 games feel more like work than fun. Real men/women/helicopters do it sideways.

Dirt 4 in the plans maybe? I'll stick with Dirt Rally until then.
elmapul 2 Nov, 2017
"Run them at your own risk, I am simply copying them from the Feral FAQ to make it simple. For me, I haven’t had any issues using them."
those configs are fine, i use it since... i cant remember 2011? to play full hd videos on my old notebook.

you said that you dust off your old hard drive to test the performance on windows, but you forgot to tell the I/O speed of both hard drives.

in any case, its a shame that they couldnt make one of those ports that perform better than the windows version, it may not be an issue on your HW since you got more than 60FPS, but on a weaker hardware, it may be the difference between playable and not playable.
i understand that they have an small team/budget compared to the windows version, its not linux fault but it lay people will not see as that.
MisterK 2 Nov, 2017
I'm guessing that even with the Vulkan renderer, there is still a lot of Direct X draw calls being used in the game for shader effects, which explains the worse performance. But at the same time, I still have to give Feral a lot of props for porting another racing game to Linux.

Last edited by MisterK on 2 November 2017 at 7:32 pm UTC
Kohrias 2 Nov, 2017
Thank you, Feral! Just bought the game on your store.
freerunnerlive 2 Nov, 2017
My logitech formula force gp doesnt work. Any help?
freerunnerlive 2 Nov, 2017
Quoting: pete910Well, looks like my Thrustmaster F430 Force Feedback aint supported :'(

Any idea anyone ?
My logitech formula gp force doent run too:'(
pete910 2 Nov, 2017
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: freerunnerlive
Quoting: pete910Well, looks like my Thrustmaster F430 Force Feedback aint supported :'(

Any idea anyone ?
My logitech formula gp force doent run too:'(

Wouldn't mind but f1 2015 did. You can't even map the inputs either :'(
freerunnerlive 2 Nov, 2017
Quoting: freerunnerlive
Quoting: pete910Well, looks like my Thrustmaster F430 Force Feedback aint supported :'(

Any idea anyone ?
My logitech formula gp force doent run too:'(
F1 2015 dosnt support my.But dirt rally and grid autosport support my wheel. Cracy wheel shit. I write a email to feral support. Maybe it helps.
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