Formula 1 was the first of two F1 games to be developed by Bizarre Creations. Interestingly while the first game covers the 1995 F1 season, the second game covers the 1997 season. This is because Formula 1, while based on the 1995 season, was one of the few F1 games to be developed after the season the game is based on finished. This also led to some of the game's unique features. Among console F1 games it has been rare to see any content that reflects changes to the series during the season, indeed driver line-ups, car models and liveries are all usually based on those found at the very start of the season Forumla 1 however features the extra drivers that replaced drivers in the initial driver line-up at some point during the season.
Arcade Mode is a simple pick up and play mode, the cars are easier to handle than in the Gran Prix mode.
You race against the clock and other drivers, as the clock counts down you can earn extensions and further race time by passing checkpoints.
Each car and driver performance is based upon the results of the 1995 season.
For example choosing to race as Rubens Barichello means that your car's performance will differ to that of Michael Schumacher's.
In Grand Prix mode you can also tweak your cars, allowing you to make final adjustments to downforce, handling etc.
A single one-off against the rest of the field.
Choose a driver and race for a whole season of up to 17 races.
In Ladder Mode another car is marked on the track that you must finish ahead of. In a 12 round Ladder you have 3 attempts to beat the marked car with the ultimate objective to beat one driver from each of the other 12 teams. However, the further you progress the ability of the marked driver increases.
Teams & Drivers
Seeing as Formula 1 was created after the 1995 season had finished, it had the full team and driver line up for the 1995 season in the game. Any driver who raced for a team was included, meaning teams such as McLaren and Pacific who changed drivers a lot that season had 4 to choose from.
The full car and driver line up is as follows :-
Benetton - Renault
- Michael Shumacher
- Johnny Herbert
Williams - Renault
- Damon Hill
- David Coulthard
- Jean Alesi
- Gerhard Berger
McLaren - Mercedes
- Mark Blundell
- Mika Hakkinen
- Nigel Mansell
- Jan Magnussen
Ligier - Mugen-Honda
- Martin Brundle
- Olivier Panis
- Aguri Suzuki
Jordan - Peugeot
- Rubens Barrichello
- Eddie Irvine
Sauber - Ford
- Jean-Christophe Boullion
- Heinz-Harald Frentzen
- Karl Wendlinger
Tyrrell - Yamaha
- Ukyo Katayama
- Mika Salo
- Gabriele Tarquini
Footwork - Hart
- Gianni Morbidelli
- Taki Inoue
- Massimiliano Papis
Minardi - Ford
- Pierluigi Martini
- Luca Badoer
- Pedro Lamy
Pacific - Ford
- Bertrand Gachot
- Andrea Montermini
- Jean-Denis Deletraz
- Giovanni Lavaggi
Forti - Ford
- Pedro Diniz
- Roberto Moreno
Simtek - Ford
- Mimmo Schiatterella
- Jos Verstappen
All 17 of the circuits raced in the 1995 season were included in the game and all of them were officially licenced.
The full list of circuits in the 1995 season were as follows :-
- Brazilian Grand Prix - Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlargos, Brazil
- Argentine Grand Prix - Autódromo Juan y Óscar Gálvez, Buenos Aries, Argentina
- San Marino Grand Prix - Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, San Marino
- Spanish Grand Prix - Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
- Monte Carlo Grand Prix - Circuit de Monaco, Monaco
- Canadian Grand Prix - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada
- French Grand Prix - Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours, France
- British Grand Prix - Silverstone, Northamptonshire, Great Britain
- German Grand Prix - Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany
- Hugarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring, Mogyoród, Hungary
- Belgian Grand Prix - Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Francorchamps, Belgium
- Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy
- Portuguese Grand Prix - Autódromo do Estoril, Estoril, Portugal
- European Grand Prix - Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany
- Pacific Grand Prix - TI Circuit Aida, Minisaka, Japan
- Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Japan
- Australian Grand Prix - Adelaide Street Circuit, Adelaide, Australia
Commentary & Presentation
The game features commentary from respected British broadcaster Murrary Walker. The game also featured a "gibberish" cheat where the commentary audio clips were played in a pseudo-random manner to produce sometimes amusing results.
French commentary for the game was provided by the retired French Formula 1 driver Philippe Alliot. German commentary was provided by retired German Formula 1 driver and then current German TV channel RTL's F1 Commentator, Jochen Mass.
In Grand Prix mode the game used the Television overlays from the broadcast coverage of the Formula 1 in the game, complete with "Tag Heuer Official Timing" logos, which added extra realism when playing the game or during replays which could be watched after each of your races. This mode also didn't feature much in the way of a hud like you got in Arcade mode. Your current speed was shown in the top right hand corner of the screen and the gear you were in in the top left of the screen. There was no rev counters or damage indicators on screen and your position on the track as well as your split times was relayed to you through the TV style overlays and the in-game commentary.
Interestingly however commentary and presentation aping that of television coverage has been shunned in later F1 games in favour of a pit-radio style of audio, where you have information relayed to you by an engineer.
In an interview with Edge magazine, it was revealed that Formula 1 caught the eye of Sega at E3 the year the game was released. Sega reputedly spoke with staff at Bizarre Creations, convincing them to work on a racing game for their next console, the Dreamcast. This game went on to become Metropolis Street Racer which, while it did not have stellar sales figures itself, is the precursor to the popular Project Gotham Racing series.