Automobilista 2 F1 2007 2008
Image credit: Morio on Wikimedia Commons, available for free distribution under CC BY-SA 3.0 license

2007-2008: The F1 Era Automobilista 2 Desperately Needs

Automobilista 2

Reiza Studios is putting together a wealthy collection of Formula 1 content. But it is time we made a case for the addition of the 2007 and 2008 F1 seasons in Automobilista 2. Which F1 season do you want in AMS2?

Thanks to the recent addition of Formula Hitech machinery, Automobilista 2 has a strong collection of Formula 1 history. Overlooking the brilliant depth of historical content, modern and classic race cars mean one can seemingly recreate entire careers.

In fact, taking a look at our Automobilista 2 F1 Seasons Guide, we see that from 1990 to 2001, the majority of seasons from that time features in the game. However, there is one era that disrupts the flow of AMS2 content. The early-2000s gets little representation. Most troublesome though, has to be the industry-wide bypass of the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

The Formula Hitech cars almost complete the 1990s for F1 history in Automobilista 2.
The Formula Hitech cars almost complete the 1990s for F1 history in Automobilista 2. Image credit: Reiza Studios

In this article, our writers will lay out their opinions on this crazy time in the history of the sport. We will also implore to the Reiza team to include cars from this period, with their stunning designs and screaming engines. But which Formula 1 era currently missing in Automobilista 2 would you like to see feature?

Editor’s Take – Angus: My Childhood F1 Era in Automobilista 2

If you take a look at any of my previous opinion pieces here on OverTake, you will realise that above all else, I am a motorsport anorak. My immense passion for sim racing comes from a love of the sport. In fact, I love recreating real world events and competing against top AI names in the sim.

But this love for car racing came from my childhood. Sitting on the floor of my grand parent’s house watching the tail end of Schumacher’s reign are some of my earliest memories. Growing older, my fandom for the World Championship began just as Lewis Hamilton’s career did the same.

In 2007, as a fresh-faced seven-year-old, I woke up one morning with my grandfather to watch the first race of the season. Watching a rookie aboard the silver McLaren take a podium in his first race may have been lost on my young mind. But the enthusiasm of those around me left me hooked. Both this 2007 season and the following 2008 year are when my love for the sport became a fixation. For that reason, seeing a full grid of either year in sim racing would be the perfect New Year’s wish.

A recent update brought AI improvements. One can clearly see what a great job it does with F1 content. So surely, Automobilista 2 is the perfect title to host the 2007 and 2008 F1 seasons. Just imagine the gorgeous styling of the era pairing with the game’s brilliant rendition of high-revving V8 engines.

Editor’s Take – Yannik: The End of an Era

You may be wondering what I am on about with this title. After all, it was the start of the Lewis Hamilton era, as Angus outlined above. 2007 and 2008 were also the start of the post-Schumacher era, after my childhood idol had announced his retirement at the end of the 2006 season. Additionally, a certain German by the name of Sebastian Vettel debuted in 2007, filling in for BMW’s Robert Kubica.

Growing up with 1990s F1, V10-engined single seaters will always have a special place in my heart. However, the V8s that came in from 2006 onwards were not too shabby, either – especially when stuck into the back of the intricate cars of the time. Many seemingly did not like the narrower F1 cars that raced from 1998 to 2008, but I think this fact actually made the cars look much more agile and spectacular.

Over the years, tons of winglets, swooping edges and rounded sidepods started appearing on the cars, which reached its then-peak in 2008. The cars looked properly ahead of their time, and, in my opinion, these years marked the last time F1 cars were proper lookers. For my taste, the 2009-2016 cars with the narrow but high rear wings always looked weird. The 2017 to 2021 cars remedied that, but they were much too big for my taste, just like the current breed of cars.

Heikki Kovalainen in the 2007 Renault R27. Image credit: Rob Snell on Wikimedia Commons, available for free distribution under the CC BY 2.0 license

Great-looking Car Designs

But the 2006 to 2008 cars? Man, those were cool. Save for the hubcaps they introduced sometime in 2006 – those always looked silly. They must have worked well for aerodynamic purposes, though.

Anyway, looking back at the chrome McLarens, the extremely distinct BMW-Sauber cars of those years or the red-and-white Toyotas, plus the first of Adrian Newey’s Red Bull designs still fill me with joy. At the time, I had converted to becoming a Renault fan, as another childhood favorite in Giancarlo Fisichella was with the team.

Unforgettable Seasons

Unfortunately, he did not do too well with the Enstone squad, even after Fernando Alonso left. But there was plenty to enjoy anyway, as both 2007 and 2008 saw incredible title battles. One of Alonso or Hamilton in the McLarens looked to be the certain winner of the Championship heading into the final at Interlagos – only for Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen then taking the title by a single point over the pair.

And who could forget the 2008 title battle? Ferrari’s Felipe Massa already had the title in the bag at Interlagos, but then “IS THAT GLOCK?!” happened. The rest is history (althought there are efforts to change that due to the Crashgate scandal).

Automobilista 2 F1 2007 & 2008: Filling a Six-Year Gap

On the sim racing side, I remember modding good ol’ Grand Prix 4 to resemble the seasons perfectly. Cars and tracks were available as sets that looked the part, even on a per-race basis. Each round had the accurate driver lineups, and the mods even included the proper HUD you would see on TV back then. Barely 16 or 17 years old, these things had been unthinkable to me just a few years earlier.

As a result, I would very much welcome Automobilista 2 filling the gap between 2001 and 2011. Even if it was with a fictionalized car, skin packs could bring that up to an immersive level. Other seasons have proven that this works perfectly fine. As the cars did not differ too much between 2007 and 2008 (though the 2007 McLaren MP4-22 is one of my all-time favorites), no specific season would need to be aimed for. Although I would not mind throwing on a 2006 skin pack either so I could relive the season in which Schumi retired and Fisico scored his third and final victory.

Interestingly, these are the only two seasons in somewhat recent history that have not seen official F1 games portray them. Back in May, I did go a bit deeper into this topic – check out the article on the missing F1 game years if you are interested!

Do you agree with us? If not, which F1 era currently missing in Automobilista 2 would you like to see in the game? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

Header image license: CC BY-SA 3.0

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