AMS2 F-Reiza F1 2012
Image credit: Reiza Studios

F-Reiza in Automobilista 2: A Pleasant Surprise

It is no secret that open-wheel cars are one of the strong suits of Automobilista 2. One that might get overlooked but is certainly worth trying is the F-Reiza – although it took a while to realize this.

Formula One cars have seen countless transformations in the looks department over the years. Compare a mid-60s vehicle to one of the mid-70s for one of the most obvious examples – development never stops in the World Championship.

Weird Wings

When the V8 era started in 2006, the cars continued to look the way they did before. More complicated wings and winglets started to appear in the following years, and the FIA decided to put an end to this. The result: 2009’s class of cars with simplified aero and extremely weird wing proportions. While the front wings that got extended to match the cars’ width looked good to me, the narrow, tall rear wings were extremely off-putting. When the cars got longer and nose designs just plain obscene, I was out entirely.

The 2007 and 2008 classes of F1 cars were the final ones that looked properly good, at least according in the author’s extremely objective opinion.

I am not going to sugarcoat it: The era from 2009 to 2016 is one of my least favorite in F1. The ever-tightening rules, somewhat soulless circuits with enormous run-offs and tires that could not be pushed for more than a few laps made sure I fell out of love with the sport that I grew up with on a near-religious level. Hence, it should come as no surprise that I have not really given the F-Reiza cars in AMS2 a closer look.

Random Realization

Until recently. In a fun event with friends, we tried several random classes, and the F-Reiza was one of them. Immediately after leaving the pits at Catalunya, that feeling of “wait a minute, I missed out” set in. For one, the sound is great – that should come as no surprise. That era’s V8 engines were no V10s, but produced a great noise nonetheless. Furthermore, the upshifts sounding like gunshots certainly helped.

Additionally, and most importantly, the driving experience is sublime. The car is direct and allows drivers to push quite a lot, but does not have near-infinite grip. This means that sideways action at corner exits is not out of the question, which makes for an exciting ride. Also, their Force Feedback communicates everything that is happening extremely well.

F-Reiza 2012 Skin Pack

With car itself being based on 2011’s Red Bull RB7, no skin pack of that year is available just yet. However, RaceDepartment has a a 2012 set of liveries for sim racers to enjoy. And even though I had checked out of watching F1 at the time, I did not miss the fact that the 2012 season was one of the most exciting in recent history. While the cars are still not aesthetically pleasing in my eyes, real liveries help their looks. Three words: McLaren chrome livery. Need I say more?

2012 saw the title battle go down to the wire. Fernando Alonso in a compartively uncompetitive Ferrari took on the dominant Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel and almost took the championship. After a first-lap collision in the final round at Interlagos, the Spaniard looked like the World Champion already – however, Vettel had made up just enough places to win the title by three points in the end.

For those who want to recreate the season, eight accurate tracks are already in AMS2, plus Catalunya, which is mostly accurate. Of course, you are also free to use any other circuits you might see fit. The vast amount of choice in the sim ensures plenty of good options.

More V8 Era Cars in AMS2?

Sure, this new realization will not exactly elevate that era of F1 in my book. However, it does make me appreciate the cars just that bit more. The sound of the new turbo era since 2016 makes it painfully obvious that Formula One is missing one of its crucial elements of fascination, at least to me. And there is no way around the fact that this era was the last of properly earth-shaking F1 cars.

What would be even better is another car covering the early V8 era from 2006 to 2008 in Automobilista 2. Currently, there is a gap from 2001 to 2011 – see the AMS2 F1 Season Guide on RaceDepartment for all included Formula One seasons.

Do you want more recommendations on what to race in AMS2? We got you covered!

Have you tried the F-Reiza in Automobilista 2 yet? Let us know your experience on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!

Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia. I have been working in sim racing since 2021 after previously working with pro and amateur sports teams and athletes for a daily newspaper in Wolfsburg. Nothing gets me more excited than motor racing, especially with the beastly machines of the past. A third pedal and h-shifter are not just options for a rig, they are mandatory to me. Avid fan of the IndyCar series (modern and CART/pre-split).