F1 is a huge sport – the global sports phenomena claimed over 400 million TV viewers in 2016.
The season consists of 20 races across the planet with superstar drivers in carbon-fibre, high-tech machines, 200 mph high-speed racing action – and all taking place in bucket-list locations. Before the new owners, Liberty Media, took over at the beginning of 2017, a global survey of F1 fans was carried out in 2016 by motorsport.com which showed that Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) was the most popular driver, followed by Fernando Alonso (McLaren) and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) – but it also showed that the Ferrari team was by far the most popular team with more than double the votes of the second placed team, Mercedes. F1 races are beamed into almost every country in the world with 30 major broadcasters streaming live images into over 100 countries. F1 is huge.
Are you a fan?
Watching the racing and keeping up to date with news is all part of the F1 experience, but since the early 1990’s you’ve been able to take part in a long list of F1 themed video and slot games that make the two-week gap between the races a little easier the bear! Below are a few of the top games – some may have been around for years but they will still entertain you for hours.
Grand Prix 4 (MicroProse, 2002)
Based on the cars and drivers of the 2001 F1 season, Grand Prix 4 was the fourth iteration of this game from the popular British software designer Geoff Crammond. He was able to capture realistic aspects of F1 like track design and individual driver behaviour that aren’t found in other games. The graphics are still impressive and you take the role of the driver round the 17 incredibly realistic racetracks (yes, there were only 17 in 2001) in pursuit of the F1 championship prize. They even faithfully recreated the exact weather conditions for each of the races in that year.
You won’t see many slots games featuring F1, but there are a couple of race-inspired slots about. One of the best is Formula X; a five reel, three-row game with 25 pay lines. The reels are full of F1 inspired symbols including drivers, cars, flags, marshalls, lap counters, tyres etc. There are also few extras like the pit-lane girl and the champagne bottle! Like Grand Prix 4, the game isn’t new, but the game has all the up-to-date features of a modern slot game. The racing-inspired element comes when the car lands on your screen; this adds 250 points to the bonus race total and when you’ve reached 1,000 points you move on to race. After choosing your team, you race the car around a track….and the winner takes all. Slots have grown in popularity, hitting unprecedented levels.
Grand Prix Legends (Sierra, 1998)
Developed by Papyrus Design Group, the Grand Prix Legends racing simulator is unlike any of the others in that it wasn’t ‘current’ when it was developed; set around 1967, the cars and circuits are all from another era. A sophisticated attempt to bring the ultimate driving game (it was runner-up in Computer Gaming World’s 1998 ‘Best Driving’ prize), Legends gives you an idea of what racing was like in the early days of F1. The sound of the V12 engines and the difficulty in keeping the skinny-tyred racers on the track should keep you occupied. A true classic petrol-heads game.
F1 2013 (Codemasters)
Another game for the F1 fans who like to look back. F1 2013 was released in, yes, 2013, and showcased the cars and drivers for that year. But the game also features a ‘Classic’ version which includes cars, drivers and circuits from the 80’s and 90’s. You can only get Williams, Ferrari and Lotus cars in the ‘Classic’ version but that does mean you can get to drive Senna’s Lotus and Mansell’s Williams FW14B. That should be enough for a true F1 fan!
What’s your next F1 Game?
There are plenty of F1 inspired games to play whilst you wait for the next race – hopefully, the few above will give you an idea of some of the better ones out there. We all like to win – be it the race or the jackpot!