According to Dealspwn, the handheld racing game will be comparable to the full console release, with full seasons and complete race distances.
"It's not a straight port, obviously, because you can't have things like sixteen player multiplayer," Codemasters' Andy Gray told the website. "Multiplayer is restricted to four players both ad-hoc and infrastructure modes. But pretty much, wherever possible, it is a full conversion of the game so that you'll have the ability to do full race distances if you want, the ability to do full weekends, even a whole season. You can do all 19 races, qualifying and 100% distance."
In addition to the hardcore console based features, F1 2011 on PlayStation Vita will also include a suite of "pick-up-and-play" minigame modes.
"There are some additions that make it more friendly for handheld gaming, for when you've got five minutes on a train, on a bus, or, like, ten minutes while you're waiting for someone to get ready. Real, snappy, bite-sized gaming. There'll be challenge modes like "set this lap time" or "overtake X number of cars."
Apparently Codemasters is using the rear touch-pad as an optional "flappy paddle" gearbox, though the developer has yet to commit as to whether this will make it in the final version of the game. According to Dealspwn, Sony's been putting a bit of pressure on Codemasters to include as many of Vita's unique functions as possible — but the studio wants to stick to "just making a good F1 game". Which is admirable.
No word on any cross-platform compatibility yet, but it seems like a bit of a no-brainer. Transferring your career progress between PS3 and Vita makes perfect sense for sports games with long career components.