The successor to Formula 1 (which charted the 1995 F1 season while being released at the tail end of 1996), Formula 1 '97 made a few key additions and improvements over its predecessor. These changes and new features included; the introduction of a cockpit camera view, analog control, race flags, the commentary of Martin Brundle alongside Murray Walker, dynamic weather changes, fuel management and mechanical.
The game also features a close to full roster of drivers from the 1997 season, with notable exceptions being the Lola drivers Vincenzo Sospiri and Ricardo Rosset (who appeared in the game manual). Additionally, Jacques Villeneuve is given the psuedonym "Williams Numberone" due to the copyright ownership of his own name.
All seventeen Formula One circuits used in the real life 1997 championship are included in the game, with an additional five tracks also being included. These circuits are as follows;
- Estoril, Portugese GP
- Aida, Pacific GP (located in Okayama, Japan and named Adia in-game)
- Adelaide, Austrailian GP (named Edialeda in-game)
- Silverstone, British GP (1960's mockup of Silverstone, replete with blank-and-white visuals and era-specific cars)
- Sunob (fantasy track)
The PAL release features a Psygnosis produced demo disc, featuring the games G-Police, Colony Wars, ShadowMaster and Overboard.