Sometimes you just need to applaud video game antagonists for being good at their job

F1 2021
(Image credit: EA)

The official F1 YouTube channel recently ran an interview with the great driver Nigel Mansell, who revealed what Ayrton Senna said to him in 1992 as they stood on the podium in Hungary. Mansell had just won the Formula One World Championship and, on seeing Mansell's elation, Senna leaned in and said: "Now you understand what a bastard I am." 

What did he mean? Well, some drivers who taste success will do anything to savor it again, and this ruthless mindset is an obvious trait in many of the sport's greats: Senna, Schumacher, Verstappen, and arguably even early Vettel. But while you're supposed to hate Devon Butler – F1 2021's chief antagonist – I can't. It's not like he murders lobsters like Grid's Nathan McKane.

Tyred out

F1 2021

(Image credit: EA)

No, when I think of Devon Butler, all I see is someone playing the sport on a completely higher level than anyone else. Like Sir Alex Ferguson with those infamous mind games. 100% bottle, and all that. Devon's got it all – the looks, the charm, and the 'alpha' swagger of someone designed to own any situation. 

A pantomime villain? Sure, maybe. But as everything is played so straight in the Braking Point mode, I'd argue his smarminess is all part of his act. He isn't actually some narcissistic, testosterone-fuelled neanderthal. He's an extremely canny and calculating tactician, as well as being super- quick behind the wheel of a racing car. 

Of all the characters in this game's story, Devon is the only one in any semblance of control, and he plays a blinder of a year from a tactical standpoint, stirring things up, turning rivals against each other, and almost walking away with that coveted Mercedes seat while chaos plays out all around him. Devon's tactics aren't cool, let's make that clear. But if you had to wager your house on him or drippy Aiden Jackson to win the first title, I know who I'd bet on.

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Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine,, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.