F1 '97 - The game that dominated my youth

Years of misspent youth on a game that had rain dynamics before Gran Turismo Sport ever did.

Image via drivetribe.com

I should just preface, the Lola car above has no bearing to this post. The only bearing is that I just liked that livery and it was in 1997 ...for a day or so. 🤷‍♀️

Way back in early 1998 I was fortunate enough to receive my first Playstation as a gift. Up until this point, I had not had a console since the Sega Megadrive in the early 90's and preferred playing Lego or outside with my friends. When it came time to purchase the Playstation, there was a deal to be had!

It came with 6 games. Yes count them. 6!

Electronic Boutique in the 90's had some fantastic deals to be had. One of those games happened to be Formula 1 '97. Now growing up, I'd been super interested in Formula 1, even if I couldn't remember the driver names or when it would be on, my dad religiously watched it. Quickly I became a fan of a chap named Michael who'd go on to do some fantastic things.

Not specifically in this season, but this was perhaps the first game I could drive as my hero and write the 97 season as it should have finished. 👀

With that in mind, I lost hours after school and on weekends playing the championship through and through just to see the reward of that end trailer with Murray Walker's voice over. One thing I do remember however, is that I started to experiment with which cars I could push as far as possible. I'd take Nicola Larini in a Sauber to almost winning the title and who could forget walking each race with "Williams Number 1".

Jacque Villeneuve decided he didn't want his rights in games throughout the 90's. Not sure why, I'd always rename him before starting a season so jokes on you Jacques!

Oh and if anyone asks, I never cut corners at the old Hockenheim or Albert Park. 😅

I had a little venture down a YouTube rabbit hole recently and discovered Jimmy Broadbent rates it as the best F1 game EVER. That's enough validation for me that it was the greatest game alive.

'til next time! ✌️

2 years ago by erd_y