Publisher: Codemasters Price: �49.99 Format: PS3 (also on Xbox 360, PC) Score: 5/5 STARS

THIS year’s Formula One season is shaping up to be one of the most competitive on record, but the closest most of us will get to screeching around a racetrack at speeds of up to 220mph is watching it on the television.

So when a new Formula One game was unveiled earlier this year, we were desperate to take it for a spin.

Featuring all the drivers, teams and circuits of the current season, F1 2010 is dripping in authenticity. Whether you want to compete in a one-off race, a time trial or a full-blown season is up to you, but you’ll still have to abide by the official rules of the sport.

At the beginning of your career, you’re signed to one of the lesser teams, so your car won’t be very competitive. Even so, shaving vital tenths of a second off your lap times in a qualifying session or picking up a point or two in a race is hugely satisfying. By your second or third season, you should be aiming for a podium finish almost every race, while a shot at becoming world champion is a realistic objective for your fourth or fifth year.

Each season is made up of 19 races, taking in some of the world’s most iconic racetracks, including Silverstone and Monaco as well as Singapore’s spectacular nighttime circuit. Driving in the wet is a stunningly authentic experience and changes in weather conditions means you’ll have to pull in for a pit stop and swap tyres at a moment’s notice.

Car handling is right on the money and there are a number of driver assists that you can turn on or off. An average race can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on your settings, and while the AI drivers are competent enough, you can always take the game online if you want to race against human opponents.

Overall, we were mightily impressed with F1 2010. The cockpit cam gives a real sense of speed and the game’s visuals and sound effects are excellent, making it the finest F1 racing sim we’ve ever played.