Formula One cars don’t just appear in the F1 game. Here are some instances of Grand Prix cars in other major driving games.
Image credit: Kunos Simulazioni / iRacing / Studio 397
The F1 gaming licence, for better or worse, has been with Codemasters for well over a decade now. There are some people who are out there who don’t particularly like the F1 games for their handling model, so how can these people experience F1 cars on other racing titles? Well OverTake has them covered!
For this list, we are not counting fantasy F1 cars, so don’t expect the likes of the Dallara iR-01 from iRacing or the Formula Pro from rFactor 2. This also applies to cars that are not officially in the game. While F1 cars from Assetto Corsa – which supports mods – are on this list, there won’t be any third party mods included.
All the cars you see on this list are officially licenced from the teams and are in the base game.
iRacing is heavily favoured amongst the sim racing community and is widely considered the top market racing simulation game, but the selection of Formula One cars is very small. It has more of a focus on American forms of racing such as NASCAR and IndyCar, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any cars at all to satisfy Grand Prix fans.
The most recent addition was the 2021 Mercedes-AMG W12, the car that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas took to the team’s eighth consecutive constructor’s championship. Many sim racers have lauded it as being one of the best cars to drive in all of sim racing with its unmatched level of aerodynamic grip. iRacing are also planning on adding the successor to the W12 at some point as well.
As far as modern F1 cars on iRacing go, the W12 is only accompanied by two cars that weren’t frontrunners in their respective seasons. These are the 2015 McLaren MP4-30 and the 2009 Williams FW31, neither of which scored wins in the seasons they ran and a lot of iRacing players were happy to see the back of them when the Merc was added.
There are also some classic F1 cars. The Lotus 79 which Mario Andretti took to the 1978 world championship, and the Lotus 49 which was used between 1967 and 1970, which earned two driver’s and constructor’s championships along the way.
As far as modern F1 cars go, rFactor 2 really isn’t decked out with them. The only one to select if you want a real car is the Marussia MR01, one of the consistent tailenders from the underfunded new-for-2010 teams that, when it raced in 2012, didn’t score points even in the hands of F1 podium finisher Timo Glock.
But if you’re more in the market for classic F1 cars, you’re certainly a more satisfied customer if you race on this simulator. First up is the 1976 March 761, which Ronnie Petersen took to a euphoric victory in the Italian Grand Prix. This win was a little overshadowed, however, by Niki Lauda finishing fourth in his first race back after his horror crash on the Nordschleife six weeks earlier.
Speaking of the 1976 season, you can also drive the M23 which James Hunt took to the championship that year, as well as a bunch of other legendary McLaren cars. There’s also the 1993 MP4/8 which Ayrton Senna claimed five wins with that year including the European Grand Prix at Donington where he went from fifth to first on the opening lap alone.
Finally there is the MP4/13 that Mika Häkkinen took to his first of two driver’s world championships in the 1998 season. When it comes to classic McLaren Grand Prix cars on rFactor 2, there are plenty to go around.
Being an Italian game, no surprise that the majority of F1 cars on Assetto Corsa are Ferraris. Just some of the headline cars include the F2004 which Michael Schumacher took to his seventh title, the 2013 F138, the 2015 SF15-T and the most recent of the bunch, the 2017 SF-70H.
The 2017 car was voted in by the public to come to the game. Considering one of the cars that could also have been selected was the 1990 641 which was powered by a V12, maybe they could have added that in instead of the 2015 car, but we digress.
As far as classic Ferrari F1 cars, you can also drive the 312/67 which raced in the late 60s, and the 312T that Niki Lauda took to his first two of three championships. There’s other classic Grand Prix cars such as a few Lotus cars. These being Jim Clark’s 1963 championship winning Lotus 25, the Lotus 49 that we mentioned earlier, Emerson Fittipaldi’s Lotus 72D that won him the 1972 title and also Ayrton Senna’s 1986 Lotus 98T.
There are also two iterations of the Maserati 250F, which raced from 1954 until 1957. In those first three seasons, it was powered by an Inline-6 engine and it wasn’t until 1957 when it was replaced with a V12 that Juan Manuel Fangio drove it to his fifth title. Both the six and twelve cylinder versions of the 250F can be driven on Assetto Corsa.
Both Automobilista titles have F1 cars, however we are only counting Automobilista 2 since in the first game, all the cars are not called by their actual names and are instead given generic names to fit the era.
In AMS2, there are mostly classic cars. A few Lotus cars like the 49, the 72 and the 79, and a couple of McLaren cars such as the M23 and the MP4/12 that was raced in the 1997 season. Then you have a few Brabhams, such as the BT26 which raced from 1968 to 1971 and the BT44 which ran from 1974 to 1976.
In 1978 though, they had quite the noteworthy car for one of the events. The BT46 B can also be driven on AMS2, this car being significant due to its downforce enducing fan on the back that drags the air over the car and forces it into the ground, even at low speed.
At the Swedish Grand Prix, Niki Lauda drove the car on its debut to victory and it was immediately banned for the following race. The concept has been used on many other cars, including original designer Gordon Murray’s own road car which is called the T.50, and even its track-focused version named in honour of Lauda, the T.50S Niki Lauda.
The first proper F1 car to appear in Gran Turismo was the Ferrari F2007 that Kimi Räikkönen won the world championship with, and it made its debut in GT5 Prologue. When the full Gran Turismo 5 game came out, the F2007 was joined by the 2010 Ferrari F10.
For Gran Turismo 6, they had an Ayrton Senna-centred gamemode and with it, the Lotus 97T. But for the ultimate F1 car in the series, that wouldn’t come until Gran Turismo Sport.
The 2017 Mercedes-AMG W08 with which Lewis Hamilton won his fourth championship was made available in GT Sport and you could either pick it with its regular livery or a selection of colours, though unfortunately you cannot modify it in game with the livery editor.
The premiere Xbox driving game, like its PlayStation counterpart, has its share of F1 cars. The only difference is that Forza has way more than Gran Turismo. Across all seven Forza Motorsport titles, there has been the likes of the 1950 Maserati 250F, 1952 Ferrari 375, 1964 Ferrari 158, 1966 McLaren M2B, the Brabham BT24, Eagle Weslake T1G, Honda RA300 and Lotus 49 all from 1967, the Ferrari 312T2, Lotus 77 and McLaren M23 from 1976, the McLaren MP4/4 from 1988 and the 1990 Ferrari 641.
So there is a lot of variety when it comes to classic cars, but concerning modern cars, one can only find cars from one particular team. Starting in Forza Motorsport 5, the team based in Enstone which at the time fell under the Lotus name had their E21 from 2013 in the game, and then two years later their E23 car was in Forza Motorsport 6.
Then another two years later when the team rebranded as Renault, their 2017 car called the R.S.17 was also added. So, when the eighth game releases, it’s more than likely that either this or next year’s Alpine F1 car will be coming to the game.
A set of games that started with such promise, marketing themselves as Community Assisted Racing Simulators and being a true console simulation. But, like the Richard Donner-directed Superman films, the first two were great while the third one was the biggest kick to the heart of the people who supported the series.
While the first two Project CARS games weren’t exactly as realistic as the top of the line simulators, the third installment went in completely the other direction. Even games that the sim racing community tend to put right at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to chasing reality like the Forza Motorsport games were seen as superior. At least Forza still had pitstops.
So if you still have your copy of Project CARS, Project CARS 2 or if you were one of the four people who liked Project CARS 3, you can treat yourself to a few classic Team Lotus cars.
Two iterations of the Lotus 49, the Lotus 72, the 78 and the 98T are all available on the Project CARS titles. Let’s hope a potential fourth installment reverts to the feel of the original two if Slightly Mad want any hope of success.
The Crew 2 is an open world driving game where you can travel across the United States in not just cars but boats and planes as well. Whilst not a game you would think would have any sort of open wheel racing cars, it does come with a couple of them.
You can drive the 2017 Red Bull RB13 and the 2018 Red Bull RB14 that Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen drove in those respective seasons. We would advise though to not bother looking for any of the real world tracks you can find in the US to drive these cars on, as it is enough to make any sim racing enthusiast feel unwell with how terribly recreated they are.
Okay we are bending the rules on this one but bear with us. During the Formula One fan event on Rocket League, an F1 car body was available to buy and you could apply all the 2021 team liveries on the car.
Even though the F1 cars aren’t the same visually, the stock car in Rocket League cannot look like every single team’s chassis. As a result, the car is more of a representation of each team’s livery, rather than the entirety of their car. Nevertheless, we feel it’s (just about) worthy of a place on our list.
Do you believe we missed any F1 cars in other games? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!