fbpx
F1 Games

F1 racing game memories – The Traxion Podcast, episode five

As we approach the start of another Formula 1 season, the Traxion team go back in time to discuss their favourite F1 game memories, spanning three generations of games.

The F1 games have a long and storied history, with titles on the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and GameBoy, plus the renowned Grand Prix games on PC by Geoff Crammond. The full history of premier class single-seater motorsports deserves a separate podcast all to itself, but in this episode, we don the rose-tinted glasses to discuss our personal favourites and our earliest F1 video game memories.

Join us on this nostalgia trip. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please, contact us via social media and let us know the first time you played an F1-associated game.

The Traxion Podcast is available on all major podcast outlets. Simply search “Traxion Podcast” on your favourite podcast service and subscribe to get instant notifications when the latest episode releases.

Hosted by Justin Sutton, John Munro and Thomas Harrison-Lord.

Listen and subscribe via Apple Podcasts
Listen and follow via Spotify
Listen and subscribe via Google Podcasts
Listen and subscribe via Pocket Casts
Listen and subscribe via Podcast Addict

The Traxion Podcast episode five, full transcript

Here’s the automated transcript.

Justin Sutton:

Welcome back to the Traxion podcast today. We’re going to be talking about our favorite F1 games. Formula 1 has been in video games for almost as long as video games have existed. Sometimes they’re incredible. Sometimes they’re less than incredible I’m Justin and joining me today are two guys who are more than incredible. It’s Tom and John.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Hello.

John Munro:

That’s very kind of you, Justin, not sure it’s true.

Justin Sutton:

I tried to segway it in really nicely there anyway, to kick things off, we thought we would talk about, cause there’s just too many F1 games to jam into one episode. I’m sure there’s going to be future episodes where we talk more about F1 games. But, what we wanted to do today is to talk about our favorites, but I wanted to start by talking about our very first experiences with F1 games. Me personally, my early experiences with F1 games were very short and uninformed as an American.

Justin Sutton:

Certainly when I was a kid in the nineties and the early two thousands and stuff. Alot of the games that I played were rentals and I remember renting an F1 game or two possibly for PS, one, possibly for PS2, possibly for both. But I don’t remember what year. I didn’t know the drivers season, so I really had no idea what was going on. I played the game and I think it was a case of like barely hitting the brakes and stuff like that. I would have been familiar with GranTurismo at that point. Certainly I would have played Gran Turismo 1, at least before playing that F1 game. But I wanna say at least one of the F1 games that I played, I think there was Montoya and Schumacher. I don’t know if that means it’s ’02 maybe?

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Early noughties of some sort isn’t it.

Justin Sutton:

Yeah.

John Munro:

Apparently the mention of Juan Pablo Montoya actually froze Justin on the screen, but we’re back.

Justin Sutton:

I apologize about that for anybody watching on YouTube.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

We’ll clear it up in the edit, it’s fine.

Justin Sutton:

Yeah. They won’t even notice, unless you’re on YouTube. I really didn’t know much about F1 at the time. I remember having fun with the game as a rental, but again, I didn’t actually purchase it. I would imagine your experiences are possibly a little bit earlier than that Tom?

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I’m showing my age now and my Formula 1 nerdism. First of all, I remember a friend of a friend, of the families once had, one of the Jeff Grummond, Grand Prix games, but let’s not dwell on those too much because I don’t have too many memories at the minute. I’ll have to research back into it. So that’s a whole nother episode. So really the first one for me, the first game I owned was just called Formula 1. And that was from 1996 and it was on the PlayStation Or PlayStation 1 and looking back now, it’s not very good, but it had Murray Walker screaming, every time you did something. And that for me is extra bonus points. Cause I just love his commentary. He was a Formula 1 commentator if you’re not aware. And so it was like, Oh no, it’s Jacques Villeneuve, if you spin off or something like this. And so, that was pretty shonky game, but it was a really good game. And I think it was developed in the UK that one, and then from there in the years, following at some point there was also some EA games and then Sony became exclusive. But that game just called Formula 1 in ’96. That’s my first memory.

Justin Sutton:

And what about you John?

John Munro:

Well, my first memory obviously came after that because I wasn’t born until after that.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Oh man, that’s embarrasing.

John Munro:

Yeah, I just thought I had to slip that in there, but I actually, even though it was after that, it was definitely a very, very young age for me. I mean, Formula 1 itself as a sport. I know for a fact I must have been watching it on TV when I was three or four years old because I was born at the end of ’97. But I strictly remember watching the TV and seeing Mika Hakkinen sitting on the grid in his McLaren and wondering why the commentators were saying he was a champion and he was the best, but he was really far down the grid and I have this very specific memory of this. So I know this must have been 2000 or 2001. So I must’ve been three or four, but in terms of the games itself, it was actually F1 2005 for me.

John Munro:

We have the city of Inverness is my most local city, it’s about 45 minutes drive away. And for me it was very exciting time. Maybe once every couple of months we’d drive up to Inverness for the big shop. And for me, the best part as a kid was going to the game store and being able to buy with my pocket money, £10, £20 or whatever, being able to buy a video game. And I remember picking up F1 2005 for the PlayStation 2 and just the excitement all the way home sitting in the car, like bursting, shaking with excitement to get this 45 minutes out of the way. So I could play the game. And the first time I turned it on that intro music, Butterflies and Hurricanes by Muse came on and it was just the most epic start to a game ever. So that totally got me hooked.

Justin Sutton:

Did you read the insert that was in the game on the way home? That’s always what I would do after getting a new game, you read the insert, you read all about it on the drive home.

John Munro:

Absolutely. I knew the ins and outs of the game. I knew the terms and conditions on the way home that I could actually read at that age. Absolutely. It would always feel like the longest 45 minutes ever. And then you had to, I mean the worst part was when I bought a PC game, cause then you have to install the thing and it took hours and that was just so painful. But anyway, that’s another story.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I can’t believe that your earliest Formula 1 gaming memory, sorry. Well, it’s 2005, first of all. And then also you were born after the game I was playing. That was my first gaming memory.

John Munro:

I’m so sorry Tom.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I’d just like to clarify that I didn’t play it when it was brand new, I played it, maybe four or five years later. That’s when I first got hold of it. So I just want to get that in there.

John Munro:

Save yourself a wee bit.

Justin Sutton:

We’ve gotten our first memories out of the way again, we’ll maybe do a history of F1 games in the future at some point. So make sure you guys tune in for future episodes and that sort of thing. But today we want to talk about our absolute favorites and I’m going to kick us off with possibly one of the newer choices. We actually don’t know what everyone is picking and stuff, but, this may be one of the newer ones because it is one of the games that was made by Codemasters. And it’s unsurprisingly the one where I peaked on a competitive level, in terms of competition league racing, esports, whatever you want to call it. And that’s F1 2013. I took a long break from Formula 1 as a sport, from about 2002 to about 2012, till the start of the 2012 season was when I got back into it.

Justin Sutton:

AndvI found out that there was F1 2012 the game, and I bought it for super cheap cause it was already months old at that point. I think when I finally found out that it existed, I only played it initially, like on keyboard against AI, just super-duper simplistic, just learning the tracks and the drivers. And it was part of the getting back into F1 experience for me, F1 2012, but 2013 was when it really came kind of full circle for me. And I was really focused on league racing and I was doing YouTube at the time as well. And I was doing YouTube videos on F1 2013 and I was taking it really seriously and all that kind of stuff. And it really was a case of 2013 sort of being an evolution of 2012, but just with a little bit more added onto it.

Justin Sutton:

I think one of the big differences, was there was no free use of DRS during qualifying sessions, but that’s, that’s a rule change within the sport. That was one of the, that’s how much I played it. I think that was one of the few changes between, cause it was still the same console generation. You still had the curves that you had to hold down and actually deploy, which I still vastly prefer over just changing ERS deployment mode with a D pad or something like that. Cause it really feels like a NOS button or something like that. And I really liked the classic stuff, the classic tracks, the classic cars that they brought into it and that kind of stuff. Did you guys, Tom, did you get a chance to play 2013?

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. You just mentioned something right at the end there, which is crucial, crucial for the 2013 game. And that is it had some classic cars, which was really cool. I remember there was a, eighties Williams that Munsell drove there, but it had classic tracks to go with the classic cars. And to this day, I don’t think that’s ever been in an F1 game since which is a shame, maybe there’s licensing and development reasons for that, but there was certainly some, classic tracks in F1 2013. I don’t know if you can remember what they were Justin, but there were, there’s at least Jerez and Brands Hatch, I think.

Justin Sutton:

There was, there was another one as well in there too.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I think you have to pay for those though, but there was at least two that came with the game that was a really, really nice thing to play or they enjoy.

Justin Sutton:

Are they classic tracks or are they just hard to overtake at tracks?

John Munro:

It’s the same thing, right?

Justin Sutton:

Yeah, I suppose. So what about you, John? Did you play 2013?

John Munro:

It’s really interesting that you guys are talking about this actually, because for me, I guess, you could, you say Justin that if we were a two, a two driver team, we’re like tag team in and out because I basically checked out of F1 roundabout when you checked back in. But I actually, I really, really enjoyed some of the early, like 2010 F1 game, which we’ll come on to in a wee bit. 2011 for me went a little bit down hill and 2012, was that point in my life where the F1 games basically got pushed aside and other things came in like iRacing for me and more kind of SIM racing stuff. And I don’t know if it was just the timing of it, but I remember getting F1 2012 and playing through the first kind of, it was the young drivers test.

John Munro:

At Yas Marina, right. Which was like the tutorial mode at the time. And I enjoyed it somewhat, but I didn’t enjoy it enough to give myself more hours on the game. And the problem was for me, in the first few hours I played it didn’t captivate me enough to drag me away from the SIM racing stuff. So what then happened is I didn’t buy another Formula 1 game until 2015. So it was, I have no idea if F1 2013 is as good as you guys say it is that it’s more the fault of F1 2012 and the situation I was in at the time. But before I move on from that, what I would say is I actually went back to F1 2012 years later, just because I had it in my steam account and I thought I’ll download it and give it a go and actually got through a couple of seasons on career mode on it and really enjoyed it. So maybe it was just the timing for me rather than a bad game or anything like that. But I just missed that era. I’m afraid.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I think you can get burnt out with the yearly releases a bit and maybe that’s what happened to you.

John Munro:

Yes, I think so, absolutely makes sense.

Justin Sutton:

Yeah. And I think my passion in 2012 was heavily fueled by the fact that I was getting back into the sport and I had such a desire to learn. I remember that Australian Grand Prix, 2012 Australian Grand Prix, really, really well. I didn’t see it live. I happened to catch it like as a rewatch or like a video on demand or something like that, essentially. So I wasn’t watching it live. I wasn’t even on Twitter at that time. So I was not really on social media or anything like that. And I watched it and I was like, wow, F1 is really different from what I was watching it in 2002 and stuff like that. But for the better like, I really enjoyed it.

Justin Sutton:

It was a Sky F1 broadcast as well too, that I’d watched.

John Munro:

It was the first year of Sky F1.

New Speaker:

Exactly. Yeah. It was the first year that F1 came back to America as well to circuit of the Americas. The first race for that track was in 2012 as well. It was also Michael Schumacher’s last year as well, too. So it was like this perfect storm of, I didn’t really have any other games that I was playing. So I super got into 2012 the game and I had a lot of free time and stuff. So I was watching every single race, every practice session. I mean, I threw myself completely and I love the games. I absolutely loved them looking back on them. They’re pretty, the career mode is pretty shallow. There’s no driver movement, which is so weird to think about going back and looking at it, like to think that there’s no driver transfers, like how boring is that?

John Munro:

That’s what’s on for years though, Justin like that still, that was still the case until very, very recently.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

2019, yeah.

Justin Sutton:

It already feels like such a staple of the series, honestly. And it’s crazy to think that they ever lived without it honestly, and it did make it so that the career mode got a little bit stale after two or three seasons, you could jump in a Marussia or a Caterham, and you can get it faster and you could turn them into a world champion or something in three or four seasons or something, but it was ultra repetitive, the exact same season schedule every single time. The top teams didn’t tend to change all that much, you know, you were fighting against McLarens and Lotuses and all that kind of stuff in 2012 and it wasn’t the best in the world. And if I’m honest, the online wasn’t great from my perspective, either going, speaking of 2013, again, my personal favorite, the online wasn’t the best for me, specifically racing from the US against a league of mostly Europeans, in fact, entirely Europeans.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

What’s wrong with that?

Justin Sutton:

And maybe even a South African or two. So yeah, it was really weird and janky and like the cars would warp up and down and it said that my gap to the car ahead would be negative some seconds and then it would get more and more inaccurate as the race went on. And yeah, it was just really bizarre looking back on it. I mean, it doesn’t even seem like a triple A title at this point and it looks, the graphics on it were very cartoony back then 2012, 2013, they just, it didn’t have that realism that it has, I would say ever since 2015, the new generation is when it really, when they kind of turn things around, over at Codemasters. So it’s still kind of a, sort of a mix between SIM and arcade, but now it’s a little bit more towards SIM, it leans a little more SIM heavier than it.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I think the word is authentic.

Justin Sutton:

Authentic. Absolutely. But I really, really liked 2013. I really enjoyed racing online, even despite the weird bugs and glitches that we would have at times. Again, it was sort of the peak of my racing competitiveness and, I had an absolute blast with it. But again, 2012, as kind of like a runner up for me because, they kind of lead into each other. They’re so similar. They’re very related, but 2013 really did a good job, I think. And a lot of the problems that 2013 had I experienced in 2012 as well. So that wasn’t, they weren’t new problems or anything like that.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I didn’t experience those problems online, but maybe it’s because you were playing in the US.

Justin Sutton:

I think it was. I did play against some Americans at some times, and I was much higher up the grid in those races. I was like a God among men when I was racing against the Americans. It was incredible. I was the one in that open lobbies telling guys, you got to do one/one wings and they’re like, what? That’s ridiculous. Why would you do that? Then I’m just absolutely annihilating them. Yeah. So I was taking the pro strats from the Euro guys and just decimating anyone in North America.

John Munro:

If it was bad enough for Justin racing from North America against people in kind of mainland UK, normal parts of the UK, could you imagine how bad it would have been Justin America racing as me in the Highlands at the time, like I don’t think we would have seen eachother on the track once, right?

Justin Sutton:

Another person that you can look to, to see a lot of those problems is actually extremely famous, F1, YouTuber Tiametmarduk. He was living in Australia at the time of 2012, 2013. And similarly he was also racing in leagues against Europeans and stuff. And I think it was even worse for him. Just, yeah, the connection between the two continents even further or less stable or whatever it might be, but yeah, you can actually see well-documented evidence of those kinds of difficulties as well. So I think we maybe have talked enough about F1 2013 and 2012. I could go on for, for a lot longer, but, Tom,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Let’s just talk about that all episode.

Justin Sutton:

but Tom, please talk a little bit about your absolute favorite.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Well, where to begin. I can’t choose an absolute favorite really or I can and it’s a really, really boring answer. Cause I think the best Formula 1 game today is the current one, 2020, but how dull is that? Oh, this guy, he chose the one that’s got all the bells and whistles and it’s been refined over 10 years or 12 years, 11 years or whatever it might be. So, that’s the actual answer, that’s probably 2020, which is lame, but for nostalgia reasons, I’m going to go 2010. I think the context here is, there hadn’t been a good Formula 1 game for a long time, since 2006, then there was a long pause and it came back with a Wii and PSP version in 2009, which I’m sure did a good job.

Justin Sutton:

I’ve heard about that.

John Munro:

He who shall not be named.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Right. But 2010 was like the first, okay, it’s on PC, PS3, 360 and it’s like a new start for the game and the franchise, it was by the brand new Codemasters Birmingham studio. So really it was all new and you fire it up and there was a iconic Ian Brown song and the menus were reminiscent of GRID, which came a couple of years earlier. And it was the first time playing Formula 1 online. That was a big thing. Maybe you could have done it, but some of the PC games earlier, but it was a really well-implemented online system. Know there was some janky-ness, I’m sure it was early days of PS3 , 360. Right. So I had a lot of fun playing with friends online with it, but also the career was really cool. You mentioned Marussia earlier and Caterham, goodness that came flooding back. I think that was later than 2010, wasn’t it? But still.

John Munro:

It was a good game.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Thank you. And last couple of points or 2010 would be that the damage model was really good and quite aggressive, which I think they toned down for the later ones. And also it had this really cool feature where you could get, punctures, almost on the front tires and visibly see, and if your tires really worn down, you’d have to box. And the tire defamation was quite advanced for the time. So there were a couple of nerdy things that I remember from the game that were really enjoyable. And I think John you’ve played that game as well, right?

John Munro:

Yeah, absolutely. And it was one of my favorites as well. And if you hadn’t mentioned, I definitely would have.

John Munro:

I would have stole it from you. You came first in this planet remember Tom, so that’s how it works. I think, I think with 2010, it’s a feeling thing, right? When you first launched the game, it is the music, it’s the menus. It’s like, Oh, I’m in the F1 paddock. And I think that F1 was going through a golden era at the time that even if people don’t realize it now, I think in 15, 20 years, people are going to say, ’07/’08 through to 2012 specifically was a complete golden era Formula 1. And I think the 2010 season, you’re having four different drivers in the championship fight at the last race five up until that point, it was like, it’s a picture right of the perfect time in F1.

John Munro:

Four different teams, all of them could win. Three new teams at the back with new drivers, new variations on the circuits, new regulations and this brilliant new game that came with it, that at the time felt so modern, so aesthetically pleasing that the flashbacks, it had that, you know, walking into your motor home and picking a team, there were so many things about it. And I think, after what happened in 2009, it was such an important thing that there was a good F1 game that came out or a really successful one. And for me, that, that game holds a lot of memories. So it was, it was really good.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah.

Justin Sutton:

I’ve heard

Tom Harrison-Lord:

It was especially in the era was amazing in real life game. Sorry Justin.

Justin Sutton:

I’ve only heard stories really, secondhand kind of stuff, because again, I wasn’t into F1 in 2010 in the year, 2010/2011. So not only was I not watching F1, certainly I wasn’t watching any sort of YouTube videos about F1 2010 or 2011 or anything like that. So, it would have been completely alien to me, but I did hear kind of secondhand stuff from people. And I heard that 2010 was superior to 2011. I want to say maybe one of you can speak to this. I want to say that I heard 2011 was too easy. It was just like the car was really, really planted. And you could just, take a lot of corners way more aggressively than you could in real life.

John Munro:

I think that it was broken in the way that you could abuse the setup, exploit the set up, I should say. So 2011 had an issue, where to set up the car well, there was a certain thing you did you maxed out or put minimum whatever the settings were, maybe it was the wing thing we talked about. Plus some right height and the car would instantly become like a Mercedes from 2020. So for me, F1 2010, was a lot better than F1 2011 because 2011, didn’t for me improve on 2010 at all. It took what it had. And for me did it again, but slightly worse. I think that’s not great. And, but that’s just my personal opinion. Lots of people love 2011 but I’d say 2010 was the best.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

We’ll get all the 2011 fans in the comments.

John Munro:

Boo.

Justin Sutton:

I never went back and played those. And I will say, certainly those games are not great in terms of like spectating and like content creation and that era, the PS3, XBox 360 era of Codemasters F1 games are not super friendly in terms of, content creation and all that kind of stuff. I think you can mod them alright. It’s not, as moddable as like Wreckfest or Assetto Corsa, or some other extremely mod heavy games, but I think mods were fairly common and people were into that sort of thing. I know, while taking it back to YouTubers again, but, Aarava, has done a lot of modding historically with F1 games. I don’t know if he’s modded at those in particular. But I know he’s modded the Codemaster’s F1 games on PC. So, it’s a strange era that I don’t know a ton about those first two years, the 2010, 2011 games. But I do know that, because I’ve seen the, seasoned reviews, the FIA season reviews, I do know about the season, the 2010 season.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Oh, real life.

John Munro:

So good.

Justin Sutton:

Yeah. And the four guys being up for it at the final race, and was it, Mark Webber was the fifth that dropped out.

John Munro:

You said Button, Button dropped out. Mark Webber was still in contention until that, I think Mark Weber was leading into the last race just ahead of Alonzo and Vettel was third. And then Vettel ended up winning the title because Weber and Alonzo both had bad races, but it was Button who just dropped out the fight a race before the end.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

He still holds that grude im sure.

Justin Sutton:

I imagine.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

If you watch it, he pitted at lap 1, he did the whole race on the one set of tires.

Justin Sutton:

Yeah. It was a good drive. And in 2010, or excuse me, 2011 was not a great season, right. So it’s almost like the games and the seasons coincide with one another. You get a great season of F1. Apparently it means a great game of F1 as well, too. I mean, you’ve picked the F1 2020 as your favorite. And, to go back on that, Tom, by the way, I’ve not actually played it, in terms of driving.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

You just commentate on it.

Justin Sutton:

Exactly, I commentate on the F1 games, like crazy through, through F1 esports sports, since 2017 now. And just through league racing, which I haven’t done these days, certainly I can tell you the games have improved massively in terms of, spectating and stuff like that. 2020 is much, much better. You can have more spectators than you could in previous years and it’s, yeah, it’s definitely more esports friendly, which I think has come about because of F1 esports. The, the team that puts that together, they see what’s lacking and I assume are making suggestions on ways to improve that. Because of course a better show means, more viewers, which means more people wanting to play the game and, and more people buying the game and stuff. So it absolutely makes sense to me. But yeah, I, haven’t actually driven F1 2020, which I think I’m the only one in that. Right. You’ve actually driven on 2020, haven’t you John?

John Munro:

Yeah. And I don’t know if you’re finished. Were you going to make another point? I do want to speak about F1 2020.

Justin Sutton:

Go ahead. Go ahead.

John Munro:

Yeah. And I personally think that it’s not a boring answer Tom because I think it’s, it’s really true. And I think in five years time, we’ll look back at 2020 as a really good game, in my opinion, because for me, I was doing a lot of ACC at the time and stuff. And when I first started playing F1 2020, I hadn’t played one properly in a while. And I was unsure about how I was going to find it. I’d say the first half I were of adopting to the physics were a little bit tricky, but once I actually got used to how the cars drove, I have nothing but praise for that game. Like the career mode is so immersive, the thing as well, while we talk about it being the newest game with all the bells and whistles, therefore, it’s going to be good.

John Munro:

It’s not that simple because a lot of the time a new game comes out and you say, ah, it’s not quite as good as the last one, or this one’s a bit disappointing. It’s not always as straightforward as that. And I think what 2020 has done so well. And I would argue that this is probably the case over the last three or four years is they’ve continuously got better and better in big chunks. It’s not as if they’re making one little thing better or one little change. That’s, it’s basically the same game. No, every single game has come on leaps and bounds with a new feature, with improved handling, all those kinds of things. And even like F1 2020 it’s nailed the classics. The classic cars feel better than ever the career modes immersive. It’s got my team, it’s got driver transfers. Like it is a genuinely fantastic game. So I totally agree with that.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. I think it’s a great game. I agree. It’s not perfect. We don’t have classic tracks for the classic classic cars. Like you’ve talked about.

John Munro:

Vietnam’s a classic track. Right. Cause we might never race there. So you could argue Vietnam’s a classic track.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I don’t mind. I know people hate that track so best not talk about that too much. Yeah. So that’s, that’s funny. And also things like, the track limit, penalties online don’t match real life Formula 1 driving. So I hope for a future game, they look at that and there’s a few few of the bits and bobs, like it doesn’t carry on the Butler and Weber story for F1 2019, which I would have liked in there. But the my team, as you mentioned, John is great. What I like about it is that you can still be competitive with a controller alongside a wheel.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

And it’s both good with a wheel and a controller. I know people with SIM rigs are rolling their eyes or switching off the podcast, but it’s still an important factor to have everybody prioritized and competitive, no matter what control type they’re using. And the split screen returned. I know that’s only a small thing, right in time for a pandemic. Ooh, when you can’t go round to people’s houses and they changed the ERs right, so you can actually use it. You can set it to auto, but you can use it like a push button, power boost and conserve that energy, which I really liked doing towards the end of the race and then overtaking everybody with the power. So that’s a good dynamic on the track as well. So I think overall it’s amazing, but I just feel like maybe they’ve reached the peak with that engine and we’ll see what happens next.

Justin Sutton:

And shout out to F1 2015 for laying the foundation for those big chunks that you were talking about. John, I think personally, I think 2015 laid such a good base in terms of like the graphics and the physics that it allowed them to focus on things like driver transfers and the paint booth thing and custom cars and all that kind of stuff. And I know 2015 gets a lot of slack for being boring as hell, if i’m honest, there’s just not a lot going on with it, but it’s because they spent so much time on that foundation that skeleton, that the things going on underneath the skin that you don’t really see on the surface.

John Munro:

For me, 2014 is like a famous pop star. It doesn’t have a great voice, but, you know the tunes it’s recognizable, it’s played them a million times and it’s always going to send them the same. 2015 is like a raw talent show competitor. That’s never had a single lesson in their life, but this incredible raw, talented voice, maybe it gets their tuning wrong half the time. But with a bit of coaching, it’ll become amazing. And then it’s developed into F1 2020 now, which is like the most incredible musician it’s dominated the world. That’s kind of how I view it ’15 was so bare. But as you say, the groundwork was really good.

New Speaker:

They sacrificed that year for the future of the series and they did a great job.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. It was completely bare bones. Wasn’t it? I don’t think he even had a proper career. It just had play a season. Right? Yeah. Which is weird, but it’s still a good to play. Yeah. I also just wanted to rewind slightly if that’s okay. John, I think you mentioned your earliest gaming memory was F1 2005 or 2006, right? So that would have been the Sony era. Did you play the, the PS3 one? The final one before Codemasters took over?

John Munro:

Yes. And it’s a really good segway actually, because I’m sure Justin is probably gonna ask me what my pick would be for my favorite F1 game.

Justin Sutton:

Please do.

John Munro:

It’s F1 2006, I actually didn’t play this on the PS3, which was called championship edition. Right. This game was released twice. Yeah. Yeah. So this game was released twice. There was a PS3 version, which was championship edition, which Tom is referring to. And that was the last version before the Wii ’09 game. So there was three years for people to play it, which was nice. But the, I actually played this game on PS2 and honestly it is probably my favorite F1 game. I think Tiametmarduk did a career mode on it recently where he went back and played this game and people loved it.

John Munro:

And the reason I love it is because it had all the dynamic things that career mode, you want from a career mode. It had a competitor’s breaking down and had funny little commentary moments. It had oil spills in the track, dry, you could sign up for teams, you could do mid-season transfers. You could be a test driver, all those fun, little things that, that come with a career mode. Obviously the physics don’t really match up too well today, but with a controller that once you get the hang of them, they’re okay. And genuinely, the reason I picked this game is because it was just such a fun part of my life. And I got so much enjoyment out of it and the career mode, and you never really knew where it was going to go. It wasn’t easy either. It was a difficult career mode to do well and, you know, to try and make your way up the teams, if you were, I was a test driver at Toyota and I got stuck being a test driver for them for over a year. And that was the worst thing in the world. But also it was that push for me to go quicker in these test sessions and try and move into a second seat at Red Bull or something for the next season. So yeah, that’s the game I would definitely like to give a shout out to.

Justin Sutton:

The punishment.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah, I played it on PS3.

John Munro:

Yeah.We love the punishment.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. I played the PS3 version and I just, my defining memories, a feature that never came out, which was when they announced it, they were like the power of the PS3. We’ve got the Formula 1 game and they showed it on stage with like a, a PSP at the same time. So imagine you’re playing the game on your TV, on the PS3, you could have somehow connected your PSP and that would display your rear view mirror. So it never happened, but that was a tech demo. So hopefully it’s on the internet somewhere. You can look up, but using the PSP screen as your rear view mirror, brilliant.

Justin Sutton:

Who doesn’t want to look away from the screen while you’re playing a racing game. Yeah. Let me just see what’s behind me. Okay. Now I’m back.

John Munro:

I’d just tape it to the top of the TV.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah, exactly.

John Munro:

Oh, that’d be amazing.

John Munro:

One thing I have noticed, touching on some of our favorite games and I noticed this, especially when Justin was speaking, you said you got back into F1 real life in 2012 and you love the F1 2012 game for me, I got into like, as I said, my earliest memory is Mika Hakkinen, but the first time I started, like being old enough to know what I was doing and actually know that I was watching F1 on the TV would have been like 2004/2005 era, when Alonzo started taking over from Schumacher and then F1 2005 was like my favorite game followed by 2006, which then became possibly a better version of my favorite game. Kind of like for you ’12 and ’13 were. And then, you know, 2010, which is my next pick for what would be the best game was probably just after, when I got into F1 at the highest level I’ve ever been at. So like 2009, I started watching all the practice sessions live on, getting up at 4:00 AM to watch Melbourne practice one or whatever it was. And it was like you say as well, like, it seems that when you really love F1 in real life, it translates to wanting to play the games more and maybe that’s affected our memories of them as well, which I thought was quite interesting because there seems to be a little bit of a correlation there.

Justin Sutton:

Feed off of each other, I think too, because you come off the session riding that high, that adrenaline high of seeing the race or qualifying or whatever it might’ve been, even if it’s a 4:00 AM practice session and you go straight into the game and then you get another high from that. And then the next day, you know, there’s another F1 thing that you’re excited about because you just raced there in the game and it’s yeah. It just spirals out of control because yeah, it’s much the same for me. I do think that the games are a great way to learn the sport. Nothing teaches you the tracks, like driving them, obviously, even if it’s only on a video game, of course, but you still, you still get the idea of what turn one is like, what turn two is like, and so on and so forth.

Justin Sutton:

And the kind of the challenges that the drivers are having to deal with at these races and stuff, not the physical challenge. But the actual, what the track itself and the challenges that it presents, you don’t feel the actual G-forces unless you have someone like pushing on your chest while you’re playing or something like that. You don’t feel the physical problems that they go through when they’re racing and stuff, but it’s still that great way of immersing yourself in it and understanding more what it’s like for them. And I think it’s, when you have a great game, it brings in viewers and when you have an exciting season, it brings in gamers, you know what I mean? So they really do feed off of each other, like you’re talking about there.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. The best thing for Codemasters is if there’s a great Formula 1 season, I’m sure that boosts sales tremendously.

Justin Sutton:

Yeah, I would imagine so.

John Munro:

Definitely I totally agree. Like when you watch a really good race, you want to redo that in the game, but also as you were saying, Justin, like, if, for example, Vietnam in 2020, I learned that track and I was really interested to know what it would be like in real life. I’d played it, learn the corners, learn the overtaking zones, and then what do I want to do? I wanted to see a Vietnamese Grand Prix, because I wanted to know how that would look in real life, would this be the overtaking opportunities. I thought it was, how would the cars take this? So there’s so many things that are linked and related between the two, which is really cool.

Justin Sutton:

By the way, just to loop back because we love doing this. We love looping back to something we mentioned earlier, the only complaints that I’ve really heard about F1 2020. And I think I’m just validating your choice. Just like John did Tom. The only issues I’ve really heard with 2020 are from the esports side, the esports drivers are not thrilled with the game. I don’t know about leagues. I’m not so ingrained in the league scene these days as I was a few years ago. So I can’t really speak to that specifically. But I do follow all of the F1 esports drivers, whether that’s Pro series or the new challengers, that they’ve got for this year. If you make it to challengers, I’ll follow you on Twitter. It’s simple as that. That’s one of the side prizes that you get from making it that far.

Justin Sutton:

Um, and yeah, I’ve seen a lot of…

Tom Harrison-Lord:

An honor.

New Speaker:

Exactly. Yeah. I’ve seen a lot of frustration from the drivers and it’s about like really, really niche stuff like setups and inability to pass. And, there’s like set ERS strategies that everybody uses. And if you use anything besides that, then you’re going to be suboptimal. You’re not going to be competitive. And it just, it kind of makes things a little bit stale. Now they say this, but also it’s been the most exciting season of F1 esports challengers that we’ve ever had. I mean, it’s been, there’s been incredible overtakes and side-by-side battles and stuff like that. So maybe it’s a case where I need to actually sit down with somebody and have them explain it a little bit more to me. But it’s just that core group of the people that take it the most seriously seem to not be having a great time. But as you said, the career mode is second to none. I know like Luke Smith from Autosport, the journalist, he played the hell out of F1 2020’s career mode and just had an absolute blast with it. And it’s so immersive and it does a great job of just providing a ton of fun for anybody. Who’s a massive F1 fan like that.

John Munro:

One thing I want to add that we haven’t talked about at all, and that really comes to life with F1 2020 and that’s the ability of the AI to race you well, on F1 2020, it could genuinely, you can have such good battles with AI as if you were racing in the top, SIM racing league on any game, that was taken very seriously. It’s funny that we talk about normally in a game, the AI racing will be a bit less realistic, but when you go and play online and do league racing, the racing becomes more realistic. Whereas in a game like this, where it’s got a few issues with the online side of it, but the AI is brilliant, you get the totally opposite effect. So for me, like I’m a SIM racer, but I really enjoyed F1 in a gaming, relaxed, casual gaming context. So I loved playing it offline against AI not spending too much time on practicing or setups or anything like that. Just having fun with it. Whereas for the esports guys, I guess it must be a bit frustrating that they maybe can’t race others online as well as they can race it. Yeah. Because they’ve done an amazing job getting the AI so good.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Online, I think it’s maybe just the esports people who are playing it every single day to practice it.

Justin Sutton:

Tousand hours people.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I’m not dismissing the complaints of course, but it’s different to most people play the game, but what we’re going to talk about our favorite F1 memories, and I think we’ve actually decided that Formula 1 2020 is quite good. We’ve sort of eulogised about that for half an hour.

Justin Sutton:

And I have to say the AI wasn’t always good. I picked 2012 and 2013, as my, 2013 is my favorite, 2012, nearly favorite. And the AI was terrible in those years. I mean, if you get alongside, they’re just like, Oh, excuse me, sir. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize this was your position please, after you. I mean, just overly polite. And then in qualifying, you were not non-existent, you don’t exist to the AI in qualifying in 2013 and 2012, it was shocking. Like I am on a hot lap and somebody is coming out of the pits. Oh, just going to take the racing line right in front of you.

John Munro:

Total opposite to racing.

Justin Sutton:

Exactly. I remember being extremely frustrated and yet I still picked it as my favorite game. So I’m willing to accept faults and stuff like that. I don’t expect it to be perfect. And it’s a case of having rose-tinted glasses on and stuff like that. And I don’t know about 2005. I don’t know about ’05/’06. I don’t know if those it’s a similar situation, John, where like the AI are actually terrible in retrospect, but yeah, 2013/2012 are not good years for AI.

John Munro:

What I could say is that it doesn’t matter if they’re really annoying and qualifying in those games because you could probably overtake all of them on lap one anyway. Cause you just send one to the inside and they’ll just go “on you go, sir”. I think it 2005, there was no qualifying against AI because it was super poll system. So you get what it was one lap shoot out. And that was awesome to have that obviously what they used in real life F1. It was the last season of that. And then 2006, they had the Q1 two, three system. But the AI, I mean, who knows how they stack up nowadays? I honestly can’t remember, but what I do remember was having good fun playing those games at the time. So I’m sure it was okay, but I’m sure if you played it now, you’d probably laugh a little at it.

John Munro:

They were really aggressive in 2006. I remember that as well. They were ultra aggressive, it would be, they’d literally take your wheel off if you turned in the wrong at the moment and they were there, they would take your wheel off and you’d be out of the race and you’d be fired and demoted to test driver at Toyota, sad memories.

Justin Sutton:

Well, I do like, if I’m not wrong, we’ve actually picked completely different generations for our favorite games. PS2, PS3, and PS4. I’m using PlayStations to describe the generations.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah, nice and easy.

Justin Sutton:

Oh no, yeah. Yours is PS4.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Mine’s 2020.

Justin Sutton:

We’ve, we’ve picked completely different generations for our favorite F1 games, but, I think that’s gonna wrap it up. Did you guys have anything else you wanted to add in there?

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Just want to apologize to the Commodore 64 fans. We haven’t touched you’re console, but maybe another time.

John Munro:

Well, I do want to add that. If I’m right in saying this, I think you guys listened to this podcast at home, eh, you’ll have just experienced F1 pre-season testing. So we recorded this just before F1 pre-season testing? So if anyone wants to jump into Tardis, fly back in time, let us know how it’s going and we can put some money on the bookies, then that’d be great.

Justin Sutton:

Well, hopefully, testing will be, exciting this year. Hopefully this season will be good. Hopefully the game will be good. Hopefully F1 2021 will become all three of our favorite. That all three of us will pick it as our new favorite. It’ll be that good. That’s what we’re hoping for. But that’ll do it for this episode of the Traxion podcast. Make sure you subscribe via your favorite podcast service or on YouTube to catch future episodes as they are released. Also don’t forget, join us on social media at Traxion GG across all our different channels and visit the website at Traxion.gg for all of your racing game news, amongst many other things until next time, keep it pinned and have a great day. Bye-bye.

Comments
To Top